A new, smartphone-controlled wireless patch that is wearable on the arm may help reduce migraine pain as effectively as drugs, a new study claims.
According to the researchers, a total of 299 migraines were treated with the device during the study and 64 per cent of people showed reduction in their pain by at least 50 per cent two hours after the treatment.
Furthermore, starting the stimulation within 20 minutes of the start of a migraine was found more effective.
“These results need to be confirmed with additional studies, but they are exciting,” said study author David Yarnitsky, of Technion Faculty of Medicine in Israel.
“People with migraine are looking for non-drug treatments and this new device is easy to use, has no side effects and can be conveniently used in work or social settings,” said Yarnitsky.
The device, known as the Nerivio Migra, does not yet have FDA approval in the United States.
Currently, there are two FDA-approved devices on the market that use nerve stimulation to treat migraines. One of them is called Cefaly and applies stimulation to the forehead of the migraine sufferer and a second device is placed on a person’s neck.
The Nerivio device is essentially a variation on a similar theme, but it uses a different location on the body to deliver the stimulation.
It’s unclear why electrical stimulation of the arm would help reduce migraine pain, but it may help block the pain signals from reaching the brain, the researchers suggested in their study.
The study was published in the journal Neurology.