London: In a ray of hope for millions ofmigraine 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, isbased on a technique called single-pulse transcranial magneticstimulation (sTMS) in which electrical currents produced bypowerful magnets are used to stimulate brain cells. At the first sign of a migraine, the device is heldagainst the back of the head and switched on. It gives out twofleeting bursts of electricity which short-circuit the`electrical storm` in the brain that causes the splittingpain, flashing lights and blurred vision associated withmigraine. The device, developed by Californian firm Neuralieve, hasbeen tested on around 160 migraine patients -- both male andfemale, the Daily Mail reported. As part of the study, half of the patients were given thegadget and half a dummy device that looked almost identical,to take home. They were told to treat up to three attacks atthe first sign of symptoms and to record how they got on.
Those who used the gadget were also more likely to bepain-free 24 and 48 hours later, according to a report in thejournal Lancet Neurology.PTI
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