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17 July 2017

Application of Controlled Temperature Currents May Prevent Migraines, Study Finds

Any frequent sufferer of migraines will tell you that when they strike, the experience is far from pleasant. However both prevention and treatment of the painful occurrence is difficult to say the least. Fortunately, a new study conducted by researchers from the University of Kent may have made some significant steps towards finding a feasible solution.

The study looked at how the application of gentle cooling and warming currents to the air canal could provide relief for migraine sufferers via a technique known as caloric vestibular stimulation (CVS). In simple terms, CVS activates the organs within the ear responsible for the sensation of balance; this in turn alters activity in the brain stem, which is associated with the onset on migraines.

The randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study involved 81 participants each with a history of experiencing between four and fourteen migraines each month. These volunteers self-administered CVS for the duration of 20 minutes per day over a period of 3 months, with the necessary thermal currents being delivered via aluminium earpieces.

Following this 3-month period wherein CVS was regularly administered, the volunteers experienced a “significant reduction” in the number of migraines they experienced each month, as well as a reduction in headache pain and the subsequent use of medication.

According to study lead Dr David Wilkinson of the University of Kent’s School of Psychology, the results indicate that CVS techniques “may address the existing need for new preventative therapies for episodic migraine.”

A second study, again conducted by the University of Kent and funded by CVS delivery device manufacturers Scion Neurostim, will begin in the summer, and will take a more expanded and in-depth approach in order to assess the true viability of CVS techniques for the purpose of controlling/preventing migraines.

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.