The Evolution of Bioelectronic Medicine
Updated: Nov 10, 2021
SetPoint Medical released a new paper that goes into detail about the evolution of bioelectronic medicine. There has been a long history of treating different ailments using electricity, but it wasn’t until Dr. Tracey’s discovery of the Vagus nerve as an ‘inflammatory reflex’ that they could then develop the clinical evidence that the nervous system and the immune system influence one another.
Using biomarkers (in this case, inflammatory markers such as TNF- alpha, CRP, white blood cell count, and cytokines like IL-1 and so on), researchers at SetPoint, led by Dr. Yaakov Levine, found that when the Vagus nerve is electrically stimulated, T-cells reprogram and alter the behavior of macrophages that produce those inflammatory biomarkers, resulting in a decrease in disease activity.
SetPoint’s first clinical trial was led by Dr. Paul-Peter Tak, an internationally renowned rheumatologist that was working on research exploring the role of the Inflammatory Reflex and Rheumatoid Arthritis. In 2016, the positive results of the study were published: 12 of 17 the R.A. patients in the study saw a meaningful drop in their Disease Activity Score, swollen and tender joints were reduced, and their quality of life (according to their HAQ-DI score) significantly improved.
Nowadays, SetPoint is running a clinical trial for Rheumatoid Arthritis in the US, using their revolutionary device, a ‘microregulator’, to pinpoint Vagus nerve fibers more effectively.
This paper is a fascinating glimpse into the story of this revolutionary field of medicine utilizing electricity to treat disease — from the methods of the ancient Egyptians to the Greeks, to the emergence of wireless charging pioneered by Nikola Tesla, to the technological rates of increase noted by Gordon Moore (Moore’s Law), to the research done by the University of Colorado and Virginia, to the discovery of the inflammatory reflex by Dr. Tracey, to the work relating inflammation to high resting heart rate and low vagal tone by Dr. Paul-Peter Tak, to the clinical research conducted by SetPoint that is changing lives (including mine) — it’s been quite a journey for these pioneers. When considering Moore’s Law of the doubling of progress every two years, one can only imagine where this decade will take us — and how it will transform healthcare as we know it.
Click the link below to read the white paper: