Brain Stimulation, a premier journal for original research in the field of neuromodulation, has published research co-authored by Norman W. Kettner, DC, DACBR, DCBCN, FICC, chair of Logan’s Department of Radiology.
The study looked at the vagus nerve, which originates in the brain stem and is responsible for a variety of systems operations in the body, including the cardiovascular, immune and metabolic. Specifically, Dr. Kettner’s research wanted to determine if targeting vagal nuclei in response to stimulation was enhanced when the stimulation was delivered during exhalation.
To find out, researchers used a multimodal ultrahigh-field (7T) fMRI to examine vagal nuclei in the brain stem while applying a respiratory-gaited auricular vagal afferent nerve stimulation (RAVENS) technique. The transcutaneous electrical stimulation was applied in the ear at the cymba conchae. The results demonstrated that targeting was indeed enhanced during exhalation. This work will translate to nonpharmacological approaches for modulating brain activity in chronic pain and other neurological conditions.
Dr. Kettner’s co-researchers included Roberta Sclocco, PhD, and Vitaly Napadow, PhD, who are affiliated with Logan University, Department of Radiology through the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Dr. Kettner said he was honored to have research accepted by Brain Stimulation. “The journal focuses on research that promises to noninvasively modulate the nervous system and function of the brain,” he said. “Our research achieved that, and offers a brand new field of study.”