Mississippi’s First Vagal Nerve Stimulator for Heart Failure Implanted in Tupelo, MS

Cardiology Associates of North MS physician, Dr. Karl Crossen, and neurosurgeon Dr. Louis Rosa, teamed up to implant the state’s first vagal nerve stimulator as part of a clinical research study to treat heart failure through nerve stimulation in the neck. Research demonstrates a connection between the heart and the brain that could benefit heart failure patients. Since 1997, vagal nerve stimulation has been used to control seizures in epilepsy patients and more recently to treat clinical depression. This clinical trial is the first time vagal nerve stimulation is being used to treat heart failure. Like a traditional pacemaker, the CardioFit device is implanted under the skin of the chest and attached to the heart–but it is also connected to a nerve in the neck. The device sends electrical pulses to the nerve, which sends signals to the heart. Most patients are treated with prescription drugs that man age some symptoms, but these medications can’t stop deterioration caused by heart failure. The clinical trial will assess whether combining treatment with the CardioFit nerve stimulator and drug therapy is more effective than prescription drug therapy alone.