Transcutaneous Electrical Vagal Nerve Stimulation in Ulcerative Colitis (EVASION-UC) is a currently ongoing clinical study that is recruiting people with Ulcerative Colitis in remission.

Background to the study

  • Medications currently used to treat ulcerative colitis (UC) are directed at reducing inflammation within the bowel.
  • Current medications are expensive and have side effects such as suppressing our immune system.
  • There is need to discover non-pharmacological treatments for UC.

What is vagus nerve stimulation?

  • The vagus nerve is the main nerve of the parasympathetic nervous system which controls the heart and the gut.
  • Reduced vagus nerve activity is linked with increased inflammation in the body.
  • Transcutaneous electrical vagal nerve stimulation (tVNS) has been suggested as a safe method to activate vagus nerve and suppress inflammation.

Trial design

The results so far

In patients with UC in remission, tVNS tends to :

  1. Suppress the elevation of inflammation level (TNF-α) after stress test.
  2. Reduce anxiety levels during stress test
  3. Increase vagus nerve activity

Excitingly, the study was recently featured in a short BBC film about the impact of Crohn's and Colitis, which you can watch here.

Get involved

This innovative clinical trial is still asking for volunteers with Ulcerative Colitis in remission to take part! 

To get involved, please contact Dr Takahashi at kazuya.takahashi@qmul.ac.uk

 By Anson Au1, Kazuya Takahashi1, Tamara Mogilevski2, and Qasim Aziz1

1. Wingate Institute of Neurogastroenterology, Blizard Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, UK
2. Department of Gastroenterology, Monash University and Alfred Health, Melbourne, Australia