The systematic study of the Vagus Nerve, Heart Rate Variability, and Cholinergic Anti-Inflammatory Pathway Nexus has been among the most profound developments in disease and aging research since the year 2000.
I've established this thread to describe and discuss the science underlying this development. I believe Dr. Kevin Tracey to be the leading student of the Vagus Nerve and the Cholinergic Anti-Inflammatory Pathway (hereafter CAIP). The literature about Heart Rate Variability (HRV) has a longer history. Lower HRV is inversely correlated with disease incidence of most of the most serious diseases, morbidity, and mortality.
I first began to examine the literature of HRV in 2008. At that time, I hadn't come across the literature, which had already been published, about the Vagus Nerve and the CAIP which is associated by causation to higher and lower HRV. When I stumbled on the literature of the Vagus Nerve and the CAIP I was astounded. I couldn't believe that, in all my health science related travels, I had never come across it. I think it must be one of the most important topics that many of us don't know anything about.
I've written a great deal about this topic at Dr. William Davis' Track Your Plaque Forum, totaling more than 100 detailed posts about it by this date I think. It has seemed to me that the Longecity forum needed a thread about the topic and I've decided to make a go of writing about the topic here. I'm hoping to cover the entire range of the topic at a high level over the course of the next few weeks.
I'll begin to lay out the literature about it by referencing the abstracts and graphic figures of Dr. Kevin Tracey and his colleagues. His primary focus is on the Vagus Nerve and the CAIP. Remember, while you're looking at his work, that Low HRV is strongly, inversely related to serious disease incidence, morbidity, and mortality.
I look forward to discussion and new insight about this biological lever we have to improve our lives and our health!
The Cholinergic Anti-inflammatory Pathway: A Missing Link in Neuroimmunomodulation
This review outlines the mechanisms underlying the interaction between the nervous and immune systems of the host in response to an immune challenge. The main focus is the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway, which we recently described as a novel function of the efferent vagus nerve. This pathway plays a critical role in controlling the inflammatory response through interaction with peripheral α7 subunit–containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors expressed on macrophages. We describe the modulation of systemic and local inflammation by the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway and its function as an interface between the brain and the immune system. The clinical implications of this novel mechanism also are discussed.
Edited by wccaguy, 24 May 2012 - 11:48 PM.