Nemechek Autonomic Medicine is presently enrolling patients in a pilot trial examining for the presence pf autonomic nervous system dysfunction in individuals with chronic symptoms after COVID-19 infection.
As our understanding of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and the mechanisms involved in developing acute coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) expand, there is a growing number of clinical cases of COVID-19 with chronic symptoms who are presently referred to as COVID long-haulers.
COVID-19 illness involves other body organs besides the lungs. In recovered patients, chronic symptoms may include fatigue, “brain fog,” chest pain, racing heart rate, abdominal pain, bloating, gastroparesis, and nausea, headache, arthralgia, myalgia and sleep disturbance. Chronic depression and anxiety are also common.
Damage to the autonomic nervous system (dysautonomia) can contribute to common symptoms that include fatigue, racing heart, bladder irregularities, chest pain, palpitations, exercise intolerance, and lightheaded sensations.
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The premise of our study is that the chronic inflammation associate with COVID-19 illness is a contributing factor to the dysautonomia experienced by long-haulers. Transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation is capable of reduce of pro-inflammatory cytokines and improve symptoms in a variety of medical conditions including dysautonomia, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis and sepsis.
This study will evaluate autonomic nervous system function through a symptom survey and advanced spectral analysis. Spectral analysis is pain less and involves interpretation of autonomic signals obtained from a simple electrocardiogram. Testing will be performed at our Buckeye Arizona office.
If evidence of autonomic dysfunction is found, the study subjects will be offered treatment with daily, at home, transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (tVNS). tVNS is operated through an iPhone or Android smartphone, is painless, safe and require only 3 5-minute treatments per day. Repeat symptom survey and spectral analysis testing will be performed in 4 weeks.
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