by M. Alexander Otto

Vagus nerve stimulation – an established treatment for refractory epilepsy and depression – is slowly gaining momentum in rheumatology.

The work is being led by SetPoint Medical, a small company in Valencia, Calif., just north of Los Angeles. Its vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) device, dubbed the microregulator, has been implanted in 14 patients with refractory rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in the company’s initial safety study.