Electronic patches for migraine headaches

The device is stuck to the skin between the elbow and the shoulder in a discreet way.

March 26, 2017 04:49
1 minute read.

Girl with a headache. (photo credit: INGIMAGE)


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Migraine sufferers usually take medications when their strong headaches begin, but there is a non-pharmacological way to cope with migraines, developed by a Rambam Medical Center physician and published in the journal Neurology – a patch with electrodes attached to the arm.

Migraines are unbearable, said Prof. David Yarnitzky, head of the neurology department at the Haifa hospital. It reduces the quality of life of millions of people around the world. One minute you are sitting, standing, enjoying your leisure time and suddenly you suffer from throbbing pain, dizziness and sometimes nausea and flashes of light. You just want to crawl into bed and hope it will pass, he said. Drugs don’t always help, and if they do, they take time to work.

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Yarnitzky, who launched a startup named Theranica for his invention, developed a device that looks like a music player. Called Nerivio, the invention is a fully integrated and self-contained family of therapeutic patches suited to be worn everywhere and at any time. The patches, as well as other types of wearables the company is planning, are controlled by intuitive smartphone apps. The devices are effective, personal, non-invasive, disposable and cost a fraction of the price of similar products on the market, he said.

“Theranica redefines migraine treatment by means of neuromodulation.Instead of placing electrodes and other cumbersome devices on the head, the patient can attach our clinically-tested wearable patch to the arm and launch a personalized pain-relief program.”

The device is stuck to the skin between the elbow and the shoulder in a discreet way. It sends electrical signals that can be controlled via a cellular phone application.

Some 60% of patients tested in the published study said their headache pain was alleviated by the device from serious to moderate suffering to light or no pain – equal to medications that take significantly longer to work. Yarnitzky said the device, used for 20 minutes, can banish the pain and change the lives of migraine sufferers. A larger clinical study on the device will begin soon in Israel and the US.

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