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Abstract #3846

Vascular effects in fMRI during respiratory-gated auricular vagal nerve stimulation

Nikos Priovoulos1, Dimo Ivanov1, Benedikt Poser1, Linda Pagen1, Vitaly Napadow2,3, Roberta Sclocco2, Frans Verhey1, and Heidi Jacobs1,2
1Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands, 2Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States, 3Logan University, Chesterfield, MT, United States

Vagus nerve stimulation has been suggested to cause wide-spread changes in the hemodynamic response function in rats. Here, we demonstrate in humans that a non-invasive variant of vagus nerve stimulation is linked with neurovascular and global blood flow changes, and associated with increased salivary alpha-amylase, suggesting potential noradrenaline release. Our results provide support for the role of noradrenaline in modulating BOLD fMRI contrast via blood flow.

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