A pacemaker in the back of the neck has been developed to help reduce the swelling and stiffness associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
The pain and swelling of this condition is caused by the immune system mistakenly attacking the joints.
But the new inch-long device, which is the thickness of a pencil, is implanted next to the vagus nerve, which runs from the brain to the abdomen.
The job of one of the nerves is to reduce the release of inflammatory compounds for the spleen, and what the device does is send small electric shocks to the nerve.
Tests have shown that this helps reduce inflammation and 6 our of 8 patients had significant improvements in joint flexibility and pain.