It's hard to know exactly what you're zapping when you stimulate the vagus nerve, says physiologist Gareth Ackland of University College London.
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.
Caption: Tamp it down The vagus nerve detects inflammation or infection in the body and relays signals from the brain stem along its southbound fibers.
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.
If the vagus nerve stimulator is worsening swallowing difficulties during eating, it can be turned off during meals by taping the magnet over it.
That your son or daughter has had surgery to implant a vagus nerve stimulator to reduce the frequency and severity of their seizures.