Non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation “improves the safety and tolerability of vagus nerve stimulation making it more accessible and facilitating further investigations across a wide range of uses when compared with surgically implanted stimulation,” according to a review in the European Journal of Neurology. The review then went on to look at the efficacy of both surgically implanted non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation, including electroCore’s gammaCore device.
Stephen Silberstein of Thomas Jefferson University – one of the authors of the paper – commented, “This review confirms that non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation is safe and effective. Because there is no surgery involved and because the costs are very competitive, we believe it could open up a whole variety of conditions which have responded to vagus nerve stimulation.”
The Cyberonics vagus nerve stimulation implant, which has a licence in North America and Europe for refractory epilepsy and depression, has been implanted in more than 70,000 patients over the last twenty years and has been found to be helpful to patients with several other conditions including headache, anxiety, gastric obesity and other conditions. However, because of the high cost of treatment and the involvement of a surgical procedure, these conditions were never researched in-depth or brought to market.
JP Errico, chief executive officer and founder of electroCore, commented, “[This paper] shows how our gammaCore device can eliminate the surgical side effects and still provide effective stimulation. Our extensive pre-clinical and clinical programme is already demonstrating how effective this treatment is across a variety of conditions.”