COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by an invasion of the alveolar epithelial cells by coronavirus 19. The most severe outcome of the disease is the Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) combined with hypoxemia and cardiovascular damage. ARDS and co-morbidities are associated with inflammatory cytokine storms, sympathetic hyperactivity, and respiratory dysfunction. The authors present and justify a novel potential treatment for Covid19-originated ARDS and associated co-morbidities, based on the non-invasive stimulation of the auricular branch of the vagus nerve. The paper concludes that Auricular vagus nerve stimulation is a safe clinical procedure and it could be either an effective treatment for ARDS originated by Covid-19 and similar viruses or a supplementary treatment to actual ARDS therapeutic approaches. The authors showcase the role of the parasympathetic system and the vagus nerve in the control of inflammatory processes; presents the formulation of physiological and methodological hypotheses; provides a large body of clinical and preclinical data that support the favorable effects of auricular vagus nerve stimulation in inflammation, sympatho-vagal balance as well as in respiratory and cardiac ailments; and notes the (few) possible collateral effects of the treatment. Read the full abstract on PubMed.
Kaniusas E, Szeles JC, Kampusch S, Alfageme-Lopez N, Yucuma-Conde D, Li X, Mayol J, Neumayer C, Papa M, Panetsos F. Non-invasive Auricular Vagus Nerve Stimulation as a Potential Treatment for Covid19-Originated Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. Front Physiol. 2020 Jul 28;11:890. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2020.00890. PMID: 32848845; PMCID: PMC7399203.
Note from the editor, Canadian Institute of Auricular Medicine (CIAM): This research aligns with the findings by Nadia Volf et al. of an auricular marker for COVID-19, and the importance of the interferon point (an anti-inflammation point) reflected on the ear. See also, ear acupuncture points for COVID-19 on the CIAM YouTube channel.