19 September 2016

A tiny electronic implant could end the agony of rheumatoid arthritis for hundreds of thousands of sufferers.

The pacemaker-like microregulator device, which is fitted under the skin near the collarbone, sends electrical pulses to a key nerve that helps block the pain of inflamed joints.

Its development lends hope to the 690,000 Britons and millions globally who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.

The pacemaker-like microregulator device, which is fitted under the skin near the collarbone, sends electrical pulses to a key nerve that helps block the pain of inflamed joints

The debilitating disease is caused by the body’s own immune system attacking joint tissue, causing inflammation, stiffness, and fatigue.

If left untreated, joints can lose shape and alignment and nearby cartilage and bone can be damaged, leading to permanent disability.

Your ads will be inserted here by

Easy Plugin for AdSense.

Please go to the plugin admin page to
Paste your ad code OR
Suppress this ad slot.

Currently patients typically take a cocktail of powerful drugs to dampen the immune system. People who use them are more likely to become ill from infections such as pneumonia.

But experts have found that using electrical pulses to stimulate the vagus nerve can have a similar effect without the side effects.

The vagus sends signals from the brain to key organs such as the spleen, triggering a decrease in the production of proteins called cytokines that help control the immune system and can cause inflammation.

Scientists say this results in reduced swelling in joints and a decrease in joint pain and damage in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

 Experts have found that using electrical pulses to stimulate the vagus nerve can have a similar effect without the side effects. File picture
What is rheumatoid arthritis? Your questions, answered
 Scientists behind the device, now being tested in the Netherlands, hope it will be available in the UK by 2020.

One patient who took part in a pilot study said it was so successful it felt as if she did not have the disease any more. She said: ‘I have my life back, like before I got arthritis.’

ALSO READ  Home Remedies For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Clare Jacklin, of the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, welcomed the development but said: ‘The disease is different in different people.

‘This new device may well be impactful for some patients dependent on their disease profile.’

 

Your ads will be inserted here by

Easy Plugin for AdSense.

Please go to the plugin admin page to
Paste your ad code OR
Suppress this ad slot.

\u00a019 September 2016<\/p>\n

A tiny\u00a0electronic implant could end the agony of rheumatoid arthritis for hundreds of thousands of sufferers.<\/p>\n

The pacemaker-like microregulator device, which is fitted under the skin near the collarbone, sends electrical pulses to a key nerve that helps block the pain of inflamed joints.<\/p>\n

Its development lends hope to the 690,000 Britons and millions globally who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.<\/p>\n

\n
\n
<\/div>\n<\/div>\n

The pacemaker-like microregulator device, which is fitted under the skin near the collarbone, sends electrical pulses to a key nerve that helps block the pain of inflamed joints<\/p>\n<\/div>\n

The debilitating disease is caused by the body\u2019s own immune system attacking joint tissue, causing inflammation, stiffness, and fatigue.<\/p>\n

If left untreated, joints can lose shape and alignment and nearby cartilage and bone can be damaged, leading to permanent disability.<\/p>\n

Currently patients typically take a cocktail of powerful drugs to dampen the immune system. People who use them are more likely to become ill from infections such as pneumonia.<\/p>\n

\n