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:3/23/2016)... March 23, 2016 ... Sicherheit Gesichts- und Stimmerkennung mit Passwörtern ... (NASDAQ: MESG ), ein führender Anbieter ... Unternehmen mit SpeechPro zusammenarbeitet, um erstmals dessen ... wird die Möglichkeit angeboten, im Rahmen mobiler ...
(Date:3/17/2016)... 17, 2016 ABI Research, the leader ... global biometrics market will reach more than $30 ... from 2015. Consumer electronics, particularly smartphones, continue to ... anticipated to reach two billion shipments by 2021 ... Pavlakis , Research Analyst at ABI Research. "Surveillance ...
(Date:3/11/2016)... http://www.apimages.com ) - --> http://www.apimages.com ... at AP Images ( http://www.apimages.com ) - Germany ... produce the new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG will be unveiling this ... Hanover next week.   --> ... to produce the new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG will be unveiling ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... A compact PET scanner called NuPET™ ... (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) in existing third-party MRI systems. PET and MRI are complementary ... subjects. Simultaneous PET/MRI imaging offers a solution to many challenges that face researchers ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... 2016 ReportsnReports.com adds 2016 ... focus on US, EU, China ... the healthcare business intelligence collection of its growing ... report on the Flow Cytometry market spread across ... 282 tables and figures is now available at ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... April 26, 2016 , ... Heidelberg Instruments, a ... technology innovation for its Volume Pattern Generator (VPG) line of lithography systems. The ... photomasks as well as a solution for mid volume direct write lithography applications. ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... Seattle based non-profit, The Institute for ... Corporation. The grant will be used to further the scientific research goals of ... http://www.ivsci.org , In accounting the grant to the IVS, Mr. Glenn ...
Breaking Biology Technology: