Now, a magnetic device that head off migraine pain in two hrs

Last Updated: Thursday, March 4, 2010 - 00:00

London: In a ray of hope for millions of
migraine patients for whom available drugs are of no help, American scientists have claimed to have developed a magnetic `pain-zapper` that can relieve a sufferer of headache within two hours.

The device, of the size and weight of a hair-dryer, is
based on a technique called single-pulse transcranial magnetic
stimulation (sTMS) in which electrical currents produced by
powerful magnets are used to stimulate brain cells.

At the first sign of a migraine, the device is held
against the back of the head and switched on. It gives out two
fleeting bursts of electricity which short-circuit the
`electrical storm` in the brain that causes the splitting
pain, flashing lights and blurred vision associated with
migraine.

The device, developed by Californian firm Neuralieve, has
been tested on around 160 migraine patients -- both male and
female, the Daily Mail reported.

As part of the study, half of the patients were given the
gadget and half a dummy device that looked almost identical,
to take home. They were told to treat up to three attacks at
the first sign of symptoms and to record how they got on.

Almost 40 per cent of those who used the device were free
of pain two hours later compared with 22 per cent in the other
group.

Those who used the gadget were also more likely to be
pain-free 24 and 48 hours later, according to a report in the
journal Lancet Neurology.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, March 4, 2010 - 00:00

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