Wireless arm patch reduces migraine pain without meds

A new study out of Neurology reveals that a wireless patch could be a simple way to reduce the pain of migraines, being just as effective as drugs. The patch is designed to be worn on one's arm, where it then produces electrical stimulation that disrupts pain signals before they can get to the brain. Users are able to control the patch using a related smartphone app. Unlike medication, this wireless patch has no side effects, says researchers.

The wireless patch was made by Theranica, and it has shown promising results in early tests. In this new study, researchers used 71 individuals who suffer from episodic migraines with between two and eight episodes every month. None of these volunteers had taken medication for at least two months prior to the study.

The volunteers were fitted with an armband that contained the stimulation device, and they were instructed to use it when a migraine starts. Some of the individuals were given placebo rather than the proper stimulation, while the others were given higher levels of stimulation. Of those who received the highest levels of stimulation, the device proved successful at reducing migraine pain by 64-percent.

Volunteers who were given the highest level of stimulation had no pain in 30-percent of cases, which greatly eclipsed the placebo group's 6-percent pain reduction. Says researchers, these results are comparable to the migraine reduction given by triptan, though more studies will need to be done before such a device becomes a commonly available treatment option.

SOURCE: EurekAlert