If you do a little research, you will learn that the longest and most complex cranial nerve, the vagus nerve, connects the brain to all vital organs.
The gut-brain axis depends on this communication system, which also regulates our immunological response and the parasympathetic nervous system. Read on to discover five fascinating facts about “wandering”.
1. The Vagus Nerve Helps Communicate Between the Gut and the Brain
The enteric nervous system, which you may not be aware of, is like a “second brain” that resides in your gut. The ENS, which contains 100-500 million neurons, controls several aspects of the nervous system, such as fluid secretion and muscle contraction.
Although the gut and brain may seem strange, they are interconnected and communicate with each other all the time. They can communicate through different channels, but the vagus nerve is the fastest and most important of these channels. It transmits messages from the enteric nervous system to the central nervous system and vice versa, similar to a fiber optic cable.
It is interesting to note that most of the vagus nerve travels from the gut to the brain. Not surprisingly, the ENS is the only organ in the body that can function independently of the brain.
According to another study, changes in the microbiota can lead to behavioral changes that can be reversed by cutting the vagus nerve. For example, mice whose microbiota have been altered to mimic those of depressed donors show a heightened sense of apathy known as anhedonia.
It is important because the behavior changes when the vagus nerve is cut, indicating that the parasite is the parasite. Fun, right?
2. The Vagus Nerve Can Be Stimulated to Reduce Epileptic Seizures
Vagal Nerve Stimulation (VNS) therapy can help reduce the frequency and severity of seizures in people whose epilepsy does not respond to medication alone or in people who are not suitable for neurosurgery.
The FDA has approved the use of VNS, a type of bioelectronic drug, for those with intractable epilepsy. Although it has been used as an anticonvulsant since the 1990s, it is still used occasionally.
A generator is placed in the collarbone as part of VNS. The procedure only takes an hour or two, and the device is similar to a pacemaker.
This generator is designed to send regular, electrical impulses to the brain through the vagus nerve, and then a short wire is shot around the left vagus nerve.
Although it may sound like something from a horror movie, the drug is well tolerated; The most common side effects are hoarseness, headache, and sore throat.
Although it is not known to researchers how VNS causes epilepsy, it is believed that the electrical signals inhibit the brain’s electrical activity. They can achieve this by activating neurotransmitters that reduce seizures.
Some patients also report that their thinking, memory, and attention have changed. This is why you can find non-VNS tools that you can use to get the best results. You can visit vagus.net to learn more about these tools.
3. Treatment-Resistant Depression Can Be Improved With Vagal Nerve Stimulation
Vagal nerve stimulation for intractable epilepsy received FDA approval shortly after news of its unexpected effects on mood swings began to spread.
With this in mind, some researchers have looked at VNS as a treatment for chronic depression.
In one trial, 200 people with depression who had not responded to treatment received vagal nerve stimulation.
No improvement was noted in the first two months, but after a year, 20-30% of the subjects showed significant improvement, and half reported that their symptoms were almost gone. However, some people had no improvement or worsening of their symptoms.
Based on these findings, the FDA approved VNS as a last-line treatment for people who have not had four or more other procedures. It is thought that VNS corrects imbalances in anxiety patients by stimulating the generation of positive neurotransmitters.
4. Fainting Can Be Caused by Vagus Nerve Hypertension
The vagus nerve may play a role in any fainting experience you’ve experienced after receiving an injection or seeing blood. Vasovagal syncope, or an increase in the vagus nerve, can sometimes lead to fainting.
In other words, certain stimuli trigger a strong parasympathetic impulse, significantly lowering heart rate and blood pressure. When the brain receives insufficient blood for a short period of time, the person may faint.
The vagus nerve controls the body’s metabolism, which results in better blood flow to the brain. Vasovagal syncope accounts for 80% of syncope in people under the age of forty. It is not known why this happens, but one theory is that the body is preparing for damage and trying to reduce blood loss.
5. Having Stomach Problems Can Cause Damage to the Vagus Nerve
Many things, such as type 2 diabetes and gastric or esophageal surgery, can damage the vagus nerve. Slurred speech, weak gag response, and difficulty swallowing are signs of impairment.
In addition to these symptoms, vagal injury can also cause gastrointestinal problems. For example, gastroparesis, a chronic condition in which the stomach cannot absorb enough food, is known to be caused by vagal injury.
As mentioned earlier, the vagus nerve controls various gastrointestinal tracts, including the muscles (peristalsis) that move food forward through the intestines.
The signs that start peristalsis can be disturbed if the circulation nerves are injured, which causes various stomach problems such as diarrhea, bloating, nausea, cramps, etc.
The vagus nerve is an important part of the stomach. It does a lot of amazing things and can cause problems if it gets damaged. We hope these interesting facts will help you learn more about these important muscles.