Potential of electrical neuromodulation for inflammatory bowel disease

Jiafei Cheng, Hong Shen, Reezwana Chowdhury, Tsion Abdi, Florin Selaru, Jiande D.Z. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a common chronic inflammatory disease of the digestive tract that is often debilitating. It affects patients' quality of life and imposes a financial burden. Despite advances in treatment with medications such as biologics, a large proportion of patients do not respond to medical therapy or develop adverse events. Therefore, alternative treatment options such as electrical neuromodulation are currently being investigated. Electrical neuromodulation, also called bioelectronic medicine, is emerging as a potential new treatment for IBD. Over the past decade, advancements have been made in electrical neuromodulation. A number of electrical neuromodulation methods, such as vagus nerve stimulation, sacral nerve stimulation, and tibial nerve stimulation, have been tested to treat IBD. A series of animal and clinical trials have been performed to evaluate efficacy with promising results. Although the exact underlying mechanisms of action for electrical neuromodulation remain to be explored, this modality is promising. Further randomized controlled trials and basic experiments are needed to investigate efficacy and clarify intrinsic mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1119-1130
Number of pages12
JournalInflammatory bowel diseases
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020


  • Crohn's disease
  • Electrical neuromodulation
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Sacral nerve stimulation
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Vagus nerve stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Gastroenterology


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