bio-electrical treatment on horizon ?: - NRAS

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bio-electrical treatment on horizon ?

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Prof Kevin Tracey, President and CEO, of the US Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, discovered that the brain controls production of a deadly inflammatory chemical called TNF, which if released in high doses can be fatal, causing people to, literally, die of shock.

He has recently developed a electrical device which reproduces the connection and switches off the chemical. Three quarters of patients with rheumatoid arthritis recovered following trials.

“This is the tip of the iceberg of a new field called bio-electric medicine,” he said.

“This is a new way of thinking about medicine. We’re using electrons to replace drugs. This will not replace all drugs. But there will be many drugs that are either too expensive, too toxic which may be replaced by these devices.”

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I think what's meant by "bio-electric medicine" is the use of Vagus Nerve Stimulation. We've discussed it here before

It may be promising future treatment for some.

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Here's a link to a 2012 paper, Andersson U, Tracey KJ. A New Approach to Rheumatoid Arthritis: Treating Inflammation with Computerized Nerve Stimulation. Cerebrum: the Dana Forum on Brain Science. 2012;2012:3.

Anyone know if there have been successful clinical trials?

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Here's all I've found, just one very small study..> Frieda A. Koopman, 8284–8289, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1605635113

Vagus nerve stimulation inhibits cytokine production and attenuates disease severity in rheumatoid arthritis

And a bit more info here:

Sounds very experimental...

'There were no deaths, serious adverse events, withdrawals from the study because of adverse events, or infections in either cohort. In agreement with known risks of the procedure, nine patients experienced mild or moderate adverse events associ- ated with implanting the vagus nerve stimulator on the left cervical vagus nerve'


Thanks for this. I haven't found other studies but see that in order to be considered in the trial you must be either Tnf naive or have tried a Tnf inhibitor and failed due to safety reasons rather than inefficiency. If using a Tnf inhibitor drug doesn't work for you are they assuming that this also wouldn't work because the mechanism is also directed at Tnf?

I'm watching this closely. Thanks again.

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