Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation


VNS Device


Ear Clip Electrode


Non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation


The Parasym device non-invasively stimulates the Vagus Nerve.


This is done using a specially designed unit and ear-clip electrode.


Small micro-pulses of electricity are sent from the device to the Vagus Nerve, through the electrode.

Get updates on this treAtment


On the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis using Vagus Nerve Stimulation


We are investigating into the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis using Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation, a non-invasive alternative treatment.

Research suggests that stimulating the Vagus Nerve is a promising, safe and cost effective therapeutic method for the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis.  


Rheumatoid Arthritis



We are investigating into the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis using Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation, a non-invasive alternative treatment.

Research suggests that stimulating the Vagus Nerve may reduce inflammation through activation of the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway. 

autonomic nervous system


Parasympathetic and Sympathetic


Our autonomic nervous system (ANS) is a control system that acts largely unconsciously and is responsible for the regulation many of our bodily functions. Is has two branches that work in opposition to one another to create a balance, these are the parasympathetic nervous system and the sympathetic nervous system.


The sympathetic nervous system is often considered the 'fight or flight' system, while the parasympathetic is referred to as the 'rest and digest' system. Many serious health conditions have been linked to an overactive sympathetic nervous system (high stress), where the ANS is out of balance.  


The vagus nerve is linked to the parasympathetic branch of the ANS and by stimulating it, it is possible to reduce sympathetic activity and restore natural balance in the body needed for optimal health. 


Koopman, F. A., Chavan, S. S., Miljko, S., Grazio, S., Sokolovic, S., Schuurman, P. R., ... & Tracey, K. J. (2016). Vagus nerve stimulation inhibits cytokine production and attenuates disease severity in rheumatoid arthritis.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201605635.


Koopman, F. A., Miljko, S., Grazio, S., Sokolovic, S., Tracey, K., Levine, Y. A., ... & Tak, P. P. (2012). Pilot study of stimulation of the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway with an implantable vagus nerve stimulation device in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Rheum, 64(10 Suppl), S195.


Borovikova, L. V., Ivanova, S., Zhang, M., Yang, H., Botchkina, G. I., Watkins, L. R., ... & Tracey, K. J. (2000). Vagus nerve stimulation attenuates the systemic inflammatory response to endotoxin. Nature, 405(6785), 458-462.


Olofsson, P. S., Levine, Y. A., Caravaca, A., Chavan, S. S., Pavlov, V. A., Faltys, M., & Tracey, K. J. (2015). Single-pulse and unidirectional electrical activation of the cervical vagus nerve reduces tumor necrosis factor in endotoxemia. Bioelectron Med, 2, 37-42.


Koopman, F. A., Schuurman, P. R., Vervoordeldonk, M. J., & Tak, P. P. (2014). Vagus nerve stimulation: a new bioelectronics approach to treat rheumatoid arthritis?. Best Practice & Research Clinical Rheumatology,28(4), 625-635.


Sundman, E., & Olofsson, P. S. (2014). Neural control of the immune system.Advances in physiology education, 38(2), 135-139.


Levine, Y., Caravaca, A., Faltys, M., Arnold, A., & Zitnik, R. (2012). Vagus Nerve Stimulation Reduces Inflammation of the Small Intestinal Mucosa in the Indomethacin‐Induced Enteropathy Model: P‐193. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, 18, S92.


Wang, H., Yu, M., Ochani, M., Amella, C. A., Tanovic, M., Susarla, S., ... & Al-Abed, Y. (2003). Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor α7 subunit is an essential regulator of inflammation. Nature, 421(6921), 384-388.


Tracey, K. J. (2007). Physiology and immunology of the cholinergic antiinflammatory pathway. The Journal of clinical investigation, 117(2), 289-296.


Ulloa, L. (2005). The vagus nerve and the nicotinic anti-inflammatory pathway. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, 4(8), 673-684.


van Maanen, M. A., Vervoordeldonk, M. J., & Tak, P. P. (2009). The cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway: towards innovative treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Nature Reviews Rheumatology, 5(4), 229-232.


Das, U. N. (2011). Can vagus nerve stimulation halt or ameliorate rheumatoid arthritis and lupus?. Lipids in health and disease, 10(1), 1.


Tracey, K. J. (2002). The inflammatory reflex. Nature, 420(6917), 853-859.


Lange, G., Janal, M. N., Maniker, A., FitzGibbons, J., Fobler, M., Cook, D., & Natelson, B. H. (2011). Safety and efficacy of vagus nerve stimulation in fibromyalgia: a phase I/II proof of concept trial. Pain Medicine, 12(9), 1406-1413.


Das, U. N. (2007). Vagus nerve stimulation, depression, and inflammation.Neuropsychopharmacology, 32(9), 2053-2054.


Napadow, V., Edwards, R. R., Cahalan, C. M., Mensing, G., Greenbaum, S., Valovska, A., ... & Wasan, A. D. (2012). Evoked Pain Analgesia in Chronic Pelvic Pain Patients Using Respiratory‐Gated Auricular Vagal Afferent Nerve Stimulation. Pain medicine, 13(6), 777-789.


Thayer, J. F., & Sternberg, E. M. (2010). Neural aspects of immunomodulation: focus on the vagus nerve. Brain, behavior, and immunity,24(8), 1223-1228.