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By Eloise Evans on 21/09/2016
Around 10 million people in the UK suffer from a form of arthritis, and almost 700,000 suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. The majority of people who suffer from this type of arthritis are of working age and 75 percent of all suffers are women. This condition does not have a cure, and those who suffer normally have to take an array of medication to help with the condition, but people who have the condition will always have to take this medication.
However, a new method of treatment that uses electricity is now being tested in the Netherlands could be the answer nearly 700,000 Britons have been searching for. A new pacemaker-like microregulator device can be fitted under the skin near the collarbone to send electrical pulses to a key nerve to block the pain of inflamed joints.
The implanted microregulator stimulates the vagus nerve with pulses of electricity to key organs, such as the spleen. When they reach these organs, they trigger a decrease in the production of proteins called cytokines that cause inflammation in the joints. With this decrease in inflammation, it means there will be less damage to the joints and sufferers will experience less pain.
This microregulator does the same job as the medication but without the side effects. Some of the side effects of rheumatoid arthritis medication is a decrease in the immune system, so many people are more susceptible to other illnesses, such as pneumonia. With this new treatment, sufferers will no longer experience these symptoms and can live much fuller lives.
One patient who took part in a pilot study even said that it was such a success, she didn’t feel like she had the disease anymore. She said: “I have my life back.”
The developers behind this treatment method are still testing this microregulator, but they hope that it will be available in the UK by 2020.
Photo Source: Freepik
Post Source: Mail Online