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Ackland says that he and his colleagues agree that the vagus nerve is important.
"Nobody should overpromise that the vagus nerve is the secret to everything," he says.
"Vagus nerve stimulation: from epilepsy to the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway." Neurogastroenterology & Motility.
Caption: The vagus nerve's path from brain to heart and other organs was detailed by the Greek anatomist Galen, a leading physician of the Roman Empire in the second century.
Patients with vagus nerve stimulators should avoid strong magnets and may not undergo MRI imaging unless unless a special head coil is used and the pacemaker is turned off.
The vagus nerve stimulator is widely used in patients with intractable epilepsy who are not candidates for epilepsy surgery.
People with intractable epilepsy and their families should ask their epilepsy team about the possibility of using a vagus nerve stimulator to help control their seizures.
Many patients with vagus nerve stimulators are unable to speak.