A migraine is a severe and painful headache that can be accompanied or preceded by sensory signs, including blind spots, flashes of light, tingling in the legs & arms, vomiting, nausea, and raised sensitivity to sound & light. The agonizing pain brought by migraines can last for up to hours or even several days.
Recently, a research team has designed a wireless arm patch that can reduce the pain associated with a migraine. The team has used a chip and rubber electrodes in the patch that can generate electric impulses. These impulses are claimed to inhibit the pain signals from reaching the brain.
The brain controls the pain via an internal system known as chronic pain modulation system. The basic principle behind this device is that the activation of the arm can stimulate the mechanism of managing pain by the brain and thus aid in preventing a migraine attack. To verify the efficiency of the patch, the team tested it on 71 volunteers suffering from a migraine.
The volunteers were asked to apply the patch to the upper arm as soon as they experience a migraine. They kept it for almost 20 minutes and were not allowed to take any migraine medication for at least 2 hours. The patch is programmed to arbitrarily give either a low-frequency fake shock or actual one at levels 1–4 of stimulation. This made it possible to give sham as well as fake stimulation to each of the patient. The device was used to treat almost 300 migraines. It was observed that the device was capable of reducing the pain of the volunteers. Further, the team also said that the treatment can function best when used within 20 mins after the initial indication of a migraine.
At present, the team is planning to start a trial in almost 200 patients and hopefully receive an FDA clearance by next year.
Do you think this can be of great relief to patients suffering from severe migraine pain?