Clinical trial investigates treatment option for rheumatoid arthritis

KENDALL, Fla. – A study is underway into a treatment that could benefit millions of Americans living with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks the joints, leading to painful inflammation.

Dr. Justin Sporrer, Director of Functional Neurosurgery at Baptist Health Miami Neuroscience Institute, is part of a clinical trial into the use of vagus nerve stimulation with a new device called the Set-Point System.

“In this clinical trial we’re trying to harness the connection between the vagus nerve and the spleen where a lot of these inflammatory markers that circulate through the blood are made and released and by stimulating the nerve, we can block a significant amount of that release and hopefully affect change in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, reduce that inflammation in their joints,” Sporrer said.

Every participant in the ‘Reset-R.A.’ study receive the implant, but they will be ‘blinded’ as to whether it’s activated so that researchers can determine if it actually works, or just creates a placebo effect.

The study is currently enrolling, with plans to enroll about 250 patients with RA over the next two years. For more information, visit and type in (NCT04539964) or

Vagus nerve stimulation has been used for over a decade for various neurological conditions such as epilepsy and more recently for migraine headaches and even depression.

About the Authors:

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.