Medscape: Self-administered, noninvasive cervical transcutaneous vagal nerve stimulation (ctVNS) appears to boost mood and cognitive performance in sleep-deprived individuals, early research suggests.

In a study of sleep-deprived US Air Force pilots, those who received active ctVNS performed “significantly better on multitasking, had faster reaction time, higher arousal levels, and reported feeling more energetic and less fatigued” than peers who received sham stimulation, first author Lindsey McIntire, MS, with Infoscitex, Inc, Dayton, Ohio, told Medscape Medical News.

CtVNS could be a “powerful fatigue countermeasure tool that is easy to administer, long-lasting, and has fewer side-effects compared to common pharmacological interventions,” the investigators note.

The study was published online June 10 in Communications Biology.

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