Now, a headband to zap migraines

Updated: Feb 08, 2013, 17:05 PM IST

London: Scientists have developed a `Star Trek` style band which they claim could prevent migraines when worn across the forehead for twenty minutes a day.

The device called Cefaly delivers electric impulses to the supraorbital nerve that controls sensation in and around the eye.

In a study published in the journal Neurology, researchers found that those who used it were suffering about a third fewer debilitating headaches after a couple of months.

The number of people whose migraines were reduced by half or more were also tripled, the `Daily Mail` reported.

"The device consists of a thin silver band that looks like something out of Star Trek. It is hooked over the ears and worn across the forehead like futuristic sunglasses. Patients don it once daily for 20 minutes," Professor Jean Schoenen from Liege University in Belgium said.

Schoenen said he was pleased there were no side effects from the treatment.
"These results are exciting because they were similar to those of drugs that are used to prevent migraine. But often those drugs have many side effects and frequently they are bad enough that people decide to quit taking the drug," he said.

In the study, 67 people who had an average of four migraine attacks a month were followed for four weeks with no treatment.

Then they received either the stimulation 20 minutes a day for three months or a sham device where the electric impulses delivered were at levels too low to have any effect.

Those given the stimulation had fewer migraine days in the third month compared to the first - falling from seven to five while there was no change for those given the dummy.

Thirty-eight per cent of those who had the stimulation saw their symptoms halve compared to 12 per cent in the control group, the study found.