Vagus Nerve Stimulation Reduces Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

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Genovese et al. recently presented the results of their research at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology. They implanted mini neurostimulators in 14 rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients that had failed to respond to anti-rheumatic medication. In the treatment groups, the vagus nerve was stimulated daily for 12 weeks. The results showed that stimulation of the vagus nerve reduced signs and symptoms of RA as well as decreasing by 30% the levels of cytokines (inflammatory mediators).

The vagus nerve is known to have anti-inflammatory effects and can also be stimulated by less invasive methods such as meditation, breathing exercises, relaxation techniques and acupuncture.