June 29, 2008

A Magnetic device to zap migraines

Transcranial Magnetic StimulationI’ve always had this problem of migraines; it used to strike me unawares at odd times; usually once in a month and would almost suck the life out of me. As I am practising Anulom Vilom, Bhramari and Kapalabhati Pranayam (breathing exercises) regularly these days, the frequency and intensity of the attacks have reduced significantly. Now this piece of news caught my attention. It seems that a strange-looking magnetic device has been invented to stop a migraine in its tracks. It’s called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation - or TMS. The patient puts a device on the back of the head, and pushes a button, sending a magnetic pulse into the skull. Dr. Richard Lipton of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine said "It actually generates a very small amount of current that flows through the brain and the assumption is that current is what turns off the migraine attack." About 25 percent of migraine headaches are preceded by what's called an aura, including visual changes like flashing lights, zigzag patterns and blind spots. The idea is to use the device at the first sign of an aura. TMS treatment stopped migraines in 40 percent of patients - twice as effective as placebo.

According to a recent WebMD study, how often a woman has a migraine may play a role in determining her risk for strokes and heart attacks. Researchers grouped migraine frequency into three categories: less than monthly, monthly, or one or more a week and the results were thus:

* Women who had migraines once per week or more were nearly three times more likely to have an ischemic stroke and one and a half times more likely to experience a heart attack as women without migraines.

* Women who had infrequent migraines (less than one month) were one and a half times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.

* Women with monthly migraines were not at increased risk.

Similar Reading: Home Remedies for headache

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  1. I don`t think people who haver never suffered a migraine will relate to the pain and discomfort involved. Yes the gadget does look strange and scary, however a patient with severe headaches will try any thing to relieve the pain regardless of what it looks like.

  2. You are so right, Kacy.


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