Neurostimulation for ‘Trekkie’ Wannabees

February 23, 2013

When migraines hit, don’t you sometimes wish you had a transporter platform, like the one from Star Trek, which would let you teleport to another dimension… one where your migraine symptoms don’t exist?  Sadly, this drug free migraine treatment has not been invented yet.  However, according to the British news site Mail Online a futuristic Star Trek-like neurostimulation migraine treatment device does in fact exist, and is on the market in Europe but not yet approved for use by the FDA in the United States.  The gizmo looks like a narrow silver headband that rests across the forehead and over the ears.

The transcutaneous supraorbital apparatus works by sending electrical impulses into the trigeminal nerve, which is involved with transmitting pain signals during a migraine.  The device is supposed to be worn for twenty minutes every day. Scientists in Belgium from the Liege University completed a study on the device’s effectiveness as a drug free migraine treatment.  They followed a group of 67 patients, divided into a test group and a control over three months.  The group that wore the stimulating device experienced fewer migraines compared with the control group.  When the test group did experience migraines, the accompanying symptoms were diminished.

The study was published online recently in the journal NeurologyThe scientists concluded that the drug free migraine treatment provided similar benefits to those experienced by individuals who take preventative medication as well as other migraine treatments.  They also noted that the treatment is safe preventative therapy since there were no apparent side effects, like those that can accompany migraine medications.  For individuals with chronic migraines, who can’t tolerate side effects from medication or who don’t find the usual treatments to be effective, implantable neurostimulation (like that provided by the Omega procedure) can provide long lasting relief.

In any event, if what you are really looking for is simply an intergalactic experience…. Go on, put on your Star Trek costume and pop in some Blue Ray DVDs from  Star Trek: The Original Series.

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