Arthritis sufferers have been offered fresh hope after patients were effectively cured using a revolutionary electronic implant.
Doctors used tiny pacemaker style devices embedded in the necks of patients with severe rheumatoid arthritis to "hack" into their nervous systems.
The implant - whose effects were exclusively demonstrated to Sky News - fires bursts of electrical impulses into a key nerve that relays brain signals to the body's vital organs.
Scientists who have been conducting a groundbreaking trial of the implant say "more than half" of the patients have found their condition has now dramatically improved.
More than 400,000 patients in the UK are affected by the disease.
Researchers now believe the same technique - which can eliminate the need for patients to take drugs - could reverse other chronic conditions, including asthma, obesity and diabetes.
Sky News was given exclusive access to the study of 20 patients being carried out at the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam.
The findings are expected to be published in the New Year but already researchers say over 50% of them have shown significant improvement.
Professor Paul-Peter Tak, a rheumatologist at the hospital, said: "Even in patients who have failed everything, including the most modern pharmaceuticals, we have seen a clear trend of improvement.
"We may be able to achieve remission in 20% to 30% of patients, which would be a huge step forward in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis."
Doctors hope the nerve stimulator could be widely used within 10 years. But they admit they don't yet fully understand how it has such a powerful effect.
The implant stimulates the vagus nerve, which connects the brain to the major organs and is responsible for many 'automatic' body functions such as breathing and heart rate.
By firing impulses for just three minutes a day, scientists were able to reduce the activity of the spleen, a key organ in the immune system.