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Transcutaneous VNS to Treat Pediatric IBD

The current available therapies for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including immunomodulator and biologic medications may have toxicities limiting use or inadequate effect. We propose a novel approach to the treatment of IBD by using transcutaneous vagal nerve stimulation (VNS). Research has previously identified that VNS using a surgically implanted stimulator can improve symptoms and decrease inflammation in people with inflammatory diseases. This study will evaluate the use of non-invasive nerve stimulation through the skin (rather than through an implanted device) as a potential therapy in pediatric patients with Crohn Disease or ulcerative colitis. We will be evaluating how this nerve stimulation affects symptoms, markers of inflammation found in the blood and stool including cytokine levels, and heart rate variability. The primary hypothesis of the study is the use of transcutaneous VNS will decrease inflammation in people with IBD leading to improved signs and symptoms of disease. The primary endpoint of the study is to evaluate the change in fecal calprotectin after 16 weeks of nerve stimulation. Secondary endpoints include changes in symptom scores, blood cytokine levels, and heart rate variability.

Sponsored by: Northwell Health