Navigation Links
Technology eases migraine pain in the deep brain
Date:4/30/2012

Migraine pain sits at the upper end of the typical pain scale an angry-red section often labeled "severe." At this intensity, pain is debilitating. Yet many sufferers do not get relief from or cannot tolerate over-the-counter and commonly prescribed pain medications.

Recently, a team of researchers that includes Dr. Marom Bikson, associate professor of biomedical engineering in CCNY's Grove School of Engineering, has shown that a brain stimulation technology can prevent migraine attacks from occurring. Their technique, using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), applies a mild electrical current to the brain from electrodes attached to the scalp.

"We developed this technology and methodology in order to get the currents deep into the brain," said Bikson. The researchers aimed to tap into the so-called pain network, among other areas, a collection of interconnected brain regions involved in perceiving and regulating pain.

Professor Bikson and his colleagues, including Dr. Alexandre DaSilva at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and Dr. Felipe Fregni at Harvard Medical School, found that the technology seems to reverse ingrained changes in the brain caused by chronic migraine, such as greater sensitivity to headache triggers.

Repeated sessions reduced the duration of attacks and decreased the pain intensity of migraines that did occur on average about 37 percent. The improvements accumulated over four weeks of treatment and they persisted.

In pilot studies, the effects lasted for months. The only side effect subjects reported was a mild tingling sensation during treatment. Professor Bikson expects that a patient could use the system every day to ward off attacks, or periodically, like a booster.

The team's computational models show that tDCS delivers therapeutic current along the pain network through both upper (cortical) and deep brain structures. They will publish their results in the journal "Headache." It is currently available online.

Thirty-six million Americans suffer from migraine, according to the Migraine Research Foundation. Of these, 14 million of them experience chronic daily headaches. "The fact that people still suffer from migraines means that the existing treatments using electrical technology or chemistry are not working," said Professor Bikson.

Existing brain stimulation technologies can help relieve a migraine already underway. But those afflicted with chronic migraine pain may suffer 15 or more attacks a month, making treatment a constant battle.

The other techniques also have drawbacks from heavy, unwieldy equipment to serious side effects, such as seizures. Some only stimulate the upper layers of the brain. Others reach deep brain regions, but require brain surgery to implant the electrodes.

The tDCS technology is safe, easy to use, and portable, Professor Bikson said. "You can walk around with it and keep it in your desk drawer or purse. This is definitely the first technology that operates on just a 9-volt battery and can be applied at home." He envisions future units as small as an iPod.

The next step will be to scale up clinical trials to a larger study population. A market-ready version of the tDCS is still years away.

"There's something about migraine pain that's particularly distressing," noted Professor Bikson. "If it's possible to help some people get just 30 percent better, that's a very meaningful improvement in quality of life."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jessa Netting
jnetting@ccny.cuny.edu
212-650-7615
City College of New York
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. M2SYS Technology Partners with Hitachi to Offer Innovative Biometric Finger Vein Scanner to US Market
2. New technology tracks sparrow migration for first time from California to Alaska
3. Powerful sequencing technology decodes DNA folding pattern
4. NYU School of Medicine presents 2012 Dart/NYU Biotechnology Achievement Awards
5. Obese patients face higher radiation exposure from CT scans -- but new technology can help
6. Breast cancer risk gene discovery fast tracked by new technology
7. UF researchers look for ways to make an emerging technology safe for environment
8. Ultracold matter technology from CU and SRI International licensed to Boulders ColdQuanta
9. The future of plant science a technology perspective
10. The future of plant science - a technology perspective
11. Labor der Zukunft -- Tomorrows laboratory technology
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/22/2016)... 2016 On Monday, the Department of Homeland ... share solutions for the Biometric Exit Program. The Request ... Protection (CBP), explains that CBP intends to add biometrics ... the United States , in order to deter ... Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160622/382209LOGO ...
(Date:6/9/2016)...  Perkotek an innovation leader in attendance control systems is proud to announce the ... employers to make sure the right employees are actually signing in, and to even ... ... ... ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... , June 2, 2016   The Weather Company , ... Watson Ads, an industry-first capability in which consumers will be ... able to ask questions via voice or text and receive ... Marketers have long sought an advertising ... that can be personal, relevant and valuable; and can scale ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... ... Parallel 6 , the leading software as a service (SaaS) provider ... Patient Encounter CONSULT module which enables both audio and video telemedicine communication between the ... the CONSULT module, patients and physicians can schedule a face to face virtual patient ...
(Date:6/27/2016)...   Ginkgo Bioworks , a leading organism ... today awarded as one of the World Economic ... most innovative companies. Ginkgo Bioworks is engineering biology ... world in the nutrition, health and consumer goods ... customers including Fortune 500 companies to design microbes ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... find the most commonly-identified miRNAs in people with peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings ... here to read it now. , Diagnostic biomarkers are signposts in the blood, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... - FACIT has announced the creation of a ... Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" or "the Company"), to ... of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors for the treatment of ... an exciting class of therapies, possessing the potential ... patients. Substantial advances have been achieved with the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: