vagus nerve

va·​gus nerve | \ ˈvā-gəs- How to pronounce vagus nerve (audio) \

Definition of vagus nerve

: either of the 10th pair of cranial nerves that arise from the medulla oblongata and supply chiefly the viscera especially with autonomic sensory and motor fibers

called also vagus

Examples of vagus nerve in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The vagal response is an automatic response that occurs when the vagus nerve is stimulated by triggers like stress, fear and pain. Camille Caldera, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Nurse who fainted after COVID-19 vaccine has an underlying health condition," 21 Dec. 2020 Breathing into our lower lungs, on the other hand, stimulates the vagus nerve, which in turn activates a relaxation response (decreasing your heart rate and blood pressure). Matt Fuchs, Washington Post, "10 Things to Help You Get Through the Pandemic Into the Fall," 27 Aug. 2020 The vagus nerve is the main component of the parasympathetic nervous system which monitors mood regulation, immune response, and other functions. Natalie Meade, Quartz, "The key to good mental health in quarantine is in the food you eat," 24 Apr. 2020 The theory is that these activities turn on the vagus nerve, which sends calming messages to our brain and other organs. Author: Daphne Miller, Anchorage Daily News, "Coronavirus anxiety overwhelmed this doctor. Deep breathing helped.," 30 Mar. 2020 Related: Cypress memory care professional provides ways to connect with dementia patients The gammaCore is used by pressing the device to the neck near the vagus nerve after applying gel to the area, Cravens said. Chevall Pryce, Houston Chronicle, "Spring resident finds hope in new migraine treatment device," 3 Oct. 2019 And what if electrical stimulations administered directly to the vagus nerve could treat a handful of chronic conditions better than any drug? Andrea Gawrylewski, Scientific American, "Call of the Wild," 11 July 2019 One possibility was that microbes send signals to the brain through the long vagus nerve, which carries sensations from the digestive tract to the brain stem. Quanta Magazine, "How Microbiomes Affect Fear," 4 Dec. 2019 Deep into the synapse The researchers knew that the vagus nerve is one way that the gut and the brain communicate and that the adaptive immune system is another. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Are you a mouse who can’t let go of fear? Your microbiome might be the problem," 27 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vagus nerve.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of vagus nerve

1856, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for vagus nerve

borrowed from New Latin vagus nervus, literally, "wandering nerve,"; so called from its multiplicity of connecting points in the neck, thorax, and abdomen — more at vague

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The first known use of vagus nerve was in 1856

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Cite this Entry

“Vagus nerve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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vagus nerve


Medical Definition of vagus nerve

: either of the tenth pair of cranial nerves that arise from the medulla and supply chiefly the viscera especially with autonomic sensory and motor fibers

called also pneumogastric nerve, tenth cranial nerve, vagus

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