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Unlocking the Potential of Vagus Nerve Stimulation: Improving Memory in PTSD Patients

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Clinical trial determines that vagus nerve stimulation helps improve emory in PTSD patients

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that often comes with a burden of memory-related challenges. People with PTSD may struggle with memory recall and attention. Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) has shown promise in enhancing cognitive functions when combined with specific tasks.

Clinical Trial

A clinical trial investigated the impact of transcutaneous cervical VNS (tcVNS) on attention, declarative, and working memory in individuals with PTSD. Fifteen individuals with PTSD were randomly divided into two groups: one received active tcVNS (8 participants), and the other received sham (simulated) tcVNS (7 participants). The study was double-blinded, meaning neither the participants nor the researchers knew who received active or sham stimulation. Memory assessments were performed to evaluate declarative and working memory, including paragraph recall and N-back tests. At the same time, participants self-administered tcVNS or sham twice daily over a longitudinal two-month study period.

Results

The active tcVNS group showed significant improvements in paragraph recall performance after pairing with paragraph encoding at the two-month mark. This translated to a remarkable 91% increase in paragraph recall performance within the group. In contrast, the sham tcVNS group did not exhibit such an upward trend in performance. Regarding the N-back study, there were positive trends in accuracy, precision, and recall measures on various days (7, 34, 64, 94) for the active tcVNS group compared to the sham VNS group. However, these differences did not reach statistical significance. It's important to note that this study had a relatively small sample size, which could influence the reliability of the results.

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Conclusions

tcVNS can potentially enhance attention, declarative, and working memory in individuals with PTSD. These improvements could significantly impact their overall quality of life and productivity. However, it's crucial to remember that this is just a starting point, and more extensive research is needed to confirm these results. Understanding the positive impact of tcVNS on memory functions in PTSD patients opens doors to potential therapies that could improve their cognitive abilities and ultimately enhance their well-being. Further studies will help unlock the full potential of this promising intervention.
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This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. CenTrial Data Ltd. does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. Treatments and clinical trials mentioned may not be appropriate or available for all trial participants. Outcomes from treatments and clinical trials may vary from person to person. Consult with your doctor as to whether a clinical trial is a suitable option for your condition. Assistance from generative AI tools may have been used in writing this article.