Migraines suck — ask anyone who gets them. And, according to Statistics Canada, that’s 2.7 million Canadians each year. So chances are, you know someone who suffers from them chronically.
They’re painful and can be debilitating, but there may be hope for a new treatment.
Early studies suggest that a special patch made for subjects who feel migraines coming on could help to reduce pain.
The device, called Nerivio, is comprised of rubber electrodes paired with a small electronic chip on an armband, and can be controlled through an app on your smartphone. It works by sending electrical stimulation through the patch (placed on the subject’s upper arm) that block pain signals from reaching the brain.
Zap, your headache is gone… sort of.
Researchers studied 71 subjects who suffer from two to eight migraines a month, and didn’t take any medication for two months. They administered the real non-painful stimulation to a number of subjects and a placebo stimulation to others. Of those who received the real thing, 64 percent said they experienced at least a 50 per cent reduction in pain. Those in the control group reported the same just 26 percent of the time.
Nerivio is being developed by Theranica Ltd. out of Israel, but has been approved for clinical trials in the United States.
This is promising news for all migraine sufferers. And while more research still needs to be done before we can simply pop into a store to pick up a patch, our days spent suffering with migraines might just be coming to an end.