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Mild Electric Shock Stimulation On Arm Found To Reduce Migraine

Update Date: Mar 03, 2017 09:30 AM EST

A new study suggests that via a smartphone-controlled device that delivers mild electric shocks to a patient's arm via electronic armband, migraine pains can be limited. The gadget is called Nerivio Migra, and it is a patch battery, electrodes and a computer chip that wirelessly communicates with smartphones.

It has been designed to stimulate nerves under the skin in the arm and blocks pain signals from reaching the brain. Study lead author Dr. David Yarnitsky, also a board member for Theranica, the company that is developing the device, said the device "can be conveniently used in work or social settings."

Daily Mail reported that the device has an advantage over drug treatments because it had no side effects. The study involved 71 patients with episodic migraines that had two to eight attacks in a month. Researchers made sure the participants had not taken drugs to prevent the episodes for at least two months.

The participants aged between 30 and 40 that had been experiencing about 5 migraines in a month were mostly female. A total of 299 migraines were examined during the study period.

Participants put on the armband as soon as migraine starts and use it for 20 minutes. Researchers randomly programmed the device to give either placebo stimulation at very low frequency or deliver one of four levels of active electrical stimulation treatment.

According to Fox News, the four active treatment programs were set at a pulse rate of 80 to 120 Hertz (Hz) with pulse widths of 200, 150, 100 and 50. Less stimulations was felt at lower pulse widths, while higher pulse widths made people feel their muscles contract.

They found 64 percent in the active treatment groups had at least a 50 percent pain reduction two hours after treatment. Only 26 percent pain reductions was found from the placebo group. The highest level of stimulation showed 58 percent reported little or no pain after treatment and 24 percent from the placebo group.

Those started using the device within 20 minutes of the start of migraine reported 47percent pain reductions, compared to a 25 percent pain reduction for people starting the device later.

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