Alternating electric current does not help headaches.

A variety of electrical devices have been tried for the treatment of headaches and have been mentioned in several of my previous blogs. One study showed that passing direct current through the head may help migraines and depression. Another study recently presented at the joint meeting of the International and American Headache Societies showed that passing alternating current, just like done by any TENS (transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation) machine, but using a proprietary device, Fisher Wallace Stimulator, did not provide relief. This study performed by Dr. Tietjen and her colleagues in Ohio was blinded and involved 50 patients. They applied the stimulator for 20 minutes every day for a month with one half receiving stimulation and the other half not. After a month both groups used real stimulation for another month. While this device did not cause any serious side effects, it also did not help. Hopefully, we will soon see results of large studies using direct current stimulation since this method appears to be more promising than alternating current used in TENS devices.

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