Uncategorized Wearables

Vibrotactile Device Improves Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms in Pilot Study

Application of a vibrotactile device to the cymba concha of the external ear improves disease symptoms in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, according to a pilot study conducted by bioelectronic medicine scientists from the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and the Academic Medical Center at the University of Amsterdam, Mass Bay Engineering and ProHealth Care Associates.

Site of application of vibrotactile device to the cymba concha of the ear. Left: major anatomical landmarks of the external ear (pinna) with approximate outline of the cymba concha; the cymba concha is a highly-conserved anatomical feature of the external ear that was identified by the device operator. Right: representative device placement of the vibrotactile device in contact with the cymba concha. Image credit: Addorisio et al, doi: 10.1186/s42234-019-0020-4.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic and debilitating inflammatory disease characterized by extensive joint tissue inflammation.

It affects around 1.3 million people in the U.S. and costs tens of billions of dollars annually to treat.

Commonly, signs and symptoms of this condition are treated using synthetic and biological antirheumatic drugs. However, these medications can result in side effects and may not be effective in all patients.

In a pilot study, Feinstein Institute’s Professor Sangeeta Chavan and colleagues tested the efficacy of non-invasive stimulation of vagus nerve to reduce inflammation and improve disease severity in rheumatoid arthritis patients.

They found that the treatment was effective in inhibiting the production of cytokines, proteins that mediate inflammation and reduce the inflammatory responses in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

“Our primary objective was to observe if a non-invasive treatment using an external device will be effective in improving disease severity of rheumatoid arthritis that continues to plague more than one million across the country each year,” Professor Chavan said.

“We are pleased to observe that this novel bioelectronic treatment significantly reduces swelling and inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis.”

“This clinical research suggests that non-invasive stimulation could suppress inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis patients,” said co-lead author Dr. Kevin J. Tracey, President and CEO of the Feinstein Institute.

Source: www.sci-news.com

 

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