Migraine pain sits at the upper end of the typical pain scale – an angry-red section often labeled “severe.” At this intensity, pain is debilitating. Yet many sufferers do not get relief from – or cannot tolerate – over-the-counter and commonly prescribed pain medications. Recently, a team of researchers that includes Dr. Marom Bikson, associate professor of biomedical engineering in CCNY’s Grove School of Engineering, has shown that a brain stimulation technology can prevent migraine attacks from occurring.
Their technique, using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), applies a mild electrical current to the brain from electrodes attached to the scalp. The team found that the technology seemed to reverse ingrained changes in the brain caused by chronic migraine, such as greater sensitivity to headache triggers. The team’s computational models show that tDCS delivers therapeutic current along the pain network through both upper (cortical) and deep brain structures.
Also: Neurofeedback has proven to be an effective form of therapy for a variety of conditions, including migraines.