Could vagus nerve stimulation influence bone remodeling?

Author: Ahmad Tamimi1, Faleh Tamimi2,3, Malik Juweid4, Abdelkarim A Al-Qudah5, Amira Al Masri5, Said Dahbour6, Yakub Al Bahou6, Abdelatif Shareef4, Iskandar Tamimi7
1 Neurosurgery Department, Jordan University Hospital, Jordan.
2 College of Dental Medicine, QU Health, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar.
3 Faculty of Dentistry, McGill University, Canada.
4 Nuclear Medicine Department, Jordan University Hospital, Jordan.
5 Pediatric Neurology Department, Jordan University Hospital, Jordan.
6 Neurology Department, Jordan University Hospital, Jordan.
7 Orthopedic surgery Department, Hospital Regional Universitario de Malaga, Spain.
Conference/Journal: J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact
Date published: 2021 Jun 1
Other: Volume ID: 21 , Issue ID: 2 , Pages: 255-262 , Word Count: 184

To investigate the effect of vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) on the bone mineral density (BMD) in epileptic patients.

A prospective cohort study was conducted on individuals with refractory seizures who underwent VNS surgery between January 2012 and December 2018. BMD was measured preoperatively and between 6 months and one year after surgery.

Twenty-one patients (mean age (±SD)=23.6±12.3 years) were recruited for the implantation of a VNS device. The mean absolute increase in lumbar BMD in the 21 patients was 0.04±0.04 g/cm2 resulting in an overall percent increase from baseline of 4.7±6.1%. BMD increased by an amount ≥ the least significant change (LSC) for the lumbar spine in 13 patients (61.9%). The lumbar Z score also increased in these patients from -1.22±1.15 to -0.88±1.22, P=0.006). Pre and Post VNA femoral BMD was measured in only 11 patients and, of those 3 showed a significant increase in BMD, 1 a significant decrease and 7 no change.

The implantation of a VNS was associated with an increase in lumbar BMD. This study could lead to a new application for VNS in the treatment of osteoporosis.

Keywords: Bone Mineral Density; Epilepsy; Osteoporosis; Stimulation; Vagus Nerve.

PMID: 34059570