Monday, March 19, 2007

Can Electric Current Cure Headaches?

news you may not know

Would Someone

Please Zap Me?!

Sure, working on the taxes is no fun, but this is excruciating - the throbbing and pulsating and pounding... And, the lights. Can't someone please turn off the lights - and the noise and... the pain!

How many more hours do you have to wait for the pain meds to kick in and give you some relief from this migraine? Your doctor said the new meds are much stronger and should work much more quickly. Possibly she simply has a different definition of the passage of time.

...That settles it. You're not waiting any longer. You struggle to your feet, stumble to the desk and fumble about in the top drawer. There it is - your Zapper 2000 XT Series Remote Therapy Delivery Device! You set the charge to maximum, aim the device at the control module implanted beneath your skin and press the button. The electrical impulses race through tiny wires across your back and up your spine until they reach the back of your skull. Then, with a vengeance befitting a medical mercenary, they blast the occipital nerve with electrical impulses and...

In a flash the pain is gone and life is, well - life is livable once again.

Researchers are studying the use of neurostimulation to relieve both migraine and cluster headaches. More than 28 million people in the United States suffer from migraine headaches and up to 10% of sufferers find no relief through medications.

Boston Scientific is the manufacturer of the device being tested. The Precision device is a small Spinal Cord Stimulation system that is currently used to treat chronic spinal cord pain. The Precision system consists of both internal and external components. The internal component is implanted below the skin, typically in the hip area, and is connected to small wires that deliver electrical impulses. For treatment of headaches, the wires wind beneath the skin to an area at the base of the skull, where they are able to stimulate the occipital nerves, the area showing the most promise for relief of headache pain.

An external component - ala the "Zapper 2000 XT Series Remote Therapy Delivery Device" - allows the patient to adjust the levels of stimulation and turn the device on and off.

...Ah, back to normal. Now, if only the Zapper 2000 had a remote setting that would help finish your taxes...

To read more about the Precision system, see this from Boston Scientific. To read about the clinical trial utilizing the device, see this from


Blogger sylvia c. said...

Hey Tim. This is great.
I can especially agree that:
"The passage of time" varies significantly when being tortured by a migraine.

Thanks for the update!


Sylvia C.

10:26 AM  

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