Magnetic device may prevent migraine

A hand-held electronic device, called TMS, delivers an electric current through a metal coil creating a sharp magnetic field that lasts only one millisecond. The magnetic field, say researchers, interrupts the migraine before it progresses on to the headache stage.

Migraine sufferers often get a warning that an intense headache is on the way. They see shooting stars, cannot see properly and often have a feeling of disorientation. These neural disturbances are called ‘auras'. The TMS device has been shown to be effective in stopping the progression on the migraine if the patient is ‘zapped' at this ‘aura' stage, reports Medical News Today.

Migraines are estimated to affect some 28 million Americans and are three times more common in women than in men.

Migraines are typically more severe than common headaches and originate in the brain, Mohammad explained in a telephone interview. So-called "tension" headaches, in contrast, are the result of stress in the muscles of the head and face.

Scientists still aren't sure what causes migraines, although a recent study linked them to low levels of a chemical called serotonin in the brain. That study also found that migraine sufferers report higher levels of sexual desire than people with tension headaches.

TMS devices were originally developed in the 1980s and many are currently awaiting FDA approval for the treatment of psychological disorders such as depression and auditory hallucinations, informs FOX News.