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Abstract #0357

The Predominant Role of the Vagus Nerve in Gastric Electrical Stimulation Evoked Gut-Brain Axis

Jiayue Cao1, Kun-Han Lu2, Christina Liu Hendren1, Robert J Phillips3, Deborah M Jaffey3, Terry L Powley3, and Zhongming Liu1,2

1Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, United States, 2Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, United States, 3Psychological Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, United States

The gut-brain axis serves the bidirectional communication between the enteric nervous system and the central nervous system and links the gastrointestinal function with cognitive and emotional centers of the brain. Three different pathways have been identified to be responsible for the gut-brain axis, including the chemical modulation, the spinal nerve, and the vagus nerve. However, the functional role of each pathway is unclear and still under investigation. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we report that gastric electrical stimulation (GES) can modulate the gut-brain axis and evokes fMRI activity in multiple brain regions including both cognitive and sensory systems. Most of the GES evoked brain regions are attributable to the vagal function, suggesting a central role of the vagus nerve in the gut-brain axis, especially in modulating the cognitive and emotional centers.

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