8 doctors weighed in:
How does the vagus nerve relate to heart disease?
8 doctors weighed in

David Miller
Family Medicine
7 doctors agree
In brief: Brake on the heart
The vagus nerve (cranial nerve 10) is the "brake" on the heart.
When it is activated it slows down the heart. In heart disease, it can be either helpful or part of the problem, depending on the particular disease process at work. If it's over-active, it can force the heart to beat to slowly. If it isn't working, it can let the heart beat to fast.

In brief: Brake on the heart
The vagus nerve (cranial nerve 10) is the "brake" on the heart.
When it is activated it slows down the heart. In heart disease, it can be either helpful or part of the problem, depending on the particular disease process at work. If it's over-active, it can force the heart to beat to slowly. If it isn't working, it can let the heart beat to fast.
David Miller
David Miller
Answer assisted by David Miller, Medical Student
Thank
Dr. Michael Moran
Internal Medicine - Cardiology
In brief: Slows the heart
In general the vagus nerve is like a shock absorber on a speed bump or pothole.
When large swings in the heart rate occur due to various factors, the vagus nerve modulates this. The vagus nerve does not relate to heart disease directly but can have deleterious effects if it is stimulated at a time when higher heart rates are required. It is integral in patients with syncope (passing out).

In brief: Slows the heart
In general the vagus nerve is like a shock absorber on a speed bump or pothole.
When large swings in the heart rate occur due to various factors, the vagus nerve modulates this. The vagus nerve does not relate to heart disease directly but can have deleterious effects if it is stimulated at a time when higher heart rates are required. It is integral in patients with syncope (passing out).
Dr. Michael Moran
Dr. Michael Moran
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Eric Weisman
Board Certified, Neurology
32 years in practice
9M people helped
Continue
107,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors