Advances in Medicine: Stimulating Nerves to Treat Diseases

There’s a new treatment that’s common for several conditions – nerve stimulation.  Attaching electrodes to the brain and peripheral nerves is fairly new but it is having amazing results for various diseases.  Here are three that are benefiting from this new technology.
Rheumatoid Arthritis – This condition happens when the immune system becomes over stimulated and begins attacking the patient’s joints, making the joints painful and losing range of motion.  Although medication is the common way to slow this, now doctors are testing to see if neural implants will work better.  They connect it to a spinal nerve that regulates various major body functions and stimulates it in such a way to slow the immune system.  So far, they have had great success with this. 
Epilepsy – When medications don’t work, now doctors have the option to implant a device similar to a pacemaker into the patient.  This device will stimulate a major nerve in such a way to decrease seizures.  The doctor will program it individually for each patient.  To program it, he simply uses a wand connected to a laptop to send the signals to the device.  
Parkinson’s – Doctors are able to put electrodes into the area of the brain that is not functioning correctly in Parkinson’s patients.  When they begin to send special electrical signals to the brain, the patient’s tremors often instantly decrease.
It is truly amazing to see how technology is developing to an amazing degree.  What will they come up with next?
At Freedom Home Care, we have practiced various types of medicine to help alleviate pain from various health conditions. Take a look at our view on managing arthritis.
For more information, visit MIT Technology Review.