‘Tickling’ the ear with a small electrical current appears to rebalance the autonomic nervous system for over-55s, potentially slowing down one of the effects of ageing, according to new research at the University of Leeds.
The new study explores the impact the vagus nerve has on age. The therapy, called transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation, delivers a small, painless electrical current to the ear, which sends signals to the body’s nervous system through the vagus nerve.
The vagus nerve runs from the brain through the face and to the thorax, to the abdomen. It is the longest and most complex of the 12 pairs of cranial nerves that emanate from the brain. It transmits information to or from the surface of the brain to tissues and organs elsewhere in the body, it is part of a circuit that links the neck, heart, lungs, and abdomen.