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BACKGROUND: Transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) showed early evidence of efficacy for the gait treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD). OBJECTIVES: Providing data on neurophysiological and clinical effects of transauricular VNS (taVNS). METHODS: Ten patients with recording deep brain stimulation (DBS) have been enrolled in a within participant design pilot study, double-blind crossover sham-controlled trial of taVNS. Subthalamic local field potentials (β band power), Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scales (UPDRS), and a digital timed-up-and-go test (TUG) were measured and compared with real versus sham taVNS during medication-off/DBS-OFF condition. RESULTS: The left taVNS induced a reduction of the total β power in the contralateral (ie, right) subthalamic nucleus and an improvement of TUG time, speed, and variability. The taVNS-induced β reduction correlated with the improvement of gait speed. No major clinical changes were observed at UPDRS. CONCLUSIONS: taVNS is a promising strategy for the management of PD gait, deserving prospective trials of chronic neuromodulation. © 2023 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

Original publication




Journal article


Mov Disord

Publication Date



deep brain stimulation (DBS), freezing of gait, non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), transauricular vagus stimulation, β band