Nerve stimulation to be trialled for refractory RA

Pilot trial of a device the size of a coffee bean shows it is well tolerated

Tiny devices implanted on the vagus nerve and used for a few minutes a day might be able to reduce the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, say the authors of a pilot study.

Base of brain showing cranial nerves

Researchers have previously used vagus-nerve stimulators, about the size of a coffee bean, as anti-seizure devices.

Since the vagus nerve plays a role in the body's inflammatory reflex, the team had wondered whether the device could be reprogrammed for autoimmune-disease treatment, said senior author Dr David Chernoff,

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