A new magnetic device could cure migraines
Migraines are awful things, and nobody seems to understand them. But sufferers who previously would be vomiting, clutching their heads, and seeing more pulsating lights than Studio 54 might soon have more than just a packet of paracetamol to rely on.
The Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation device (TMS) is a handheld gadget that can be placed behind a sufferer’s head and sends pulses into the brain. The pulses affect neurons and cause them to behave differently, derailing the headaches. It’s not guaranteed to be a cure all, but in a trial of 164 patients, many people reported a big improvement, with a longer gap in between headaches.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) says that the device can be used by certain patients on the NHS, and it’s thought it will be particularly useful for pregnant women who aren’t able to take migraine medication.
‘This is a new bit of weaponry against migraines.’ Said Wendy Thomas from the Migraine Trust. ‘The reason it makes a big difference is because there's not a drug involved, so there are no side effects and if it doesn't work you just hand the device back. It won't work for everyone, but it will work for a lot of people.’
And even if you don't suffer from migraines, sticking a magnet on your brain and feeling your neurons scattering about like iron filings sounds like quite a fun way to spend the day...