Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

It's shocking: Ultra-focused electric current helps brain curb pain

Date:
October 28, 2013
Source:
University of Michigan
Summary:
Imagine significantly reducing a persistent migraine or fibromyalgia by a visit to a doctor who delivers low doses of electricity to the brain

Imagine significantly reducing a persistent migraine or fibromyalgia by a visit to a doctor who delivers low doses of electricity to the brain.

Alex DaSilva, assistant professor of prosthodontics at the University of Michigan, and colleagues are optimizing the next generation for such a technique, called high-definition transcranial direct current stimulation, or HD-tDCS.

The researchers have published several studies with the conventional tDCS, which also treats pain by "shocking" the brain with low doses of electrical current delivered noninvasively through electrodes placed on the scalp. The current modulates targeted areas of the brain, and one of the mechanisms is by activating the release of opioid-like painkillers.

HD-tDCS delivers an even more precisely focused current to the targeted areas of the brain. Preliminary reports have shown better pain relief in patients and a longer and more pronounced effect on the brain, said DaSilva, who heads the Headache and Orofacial Pain Effort Laboratory at the U-M School of Dentistry.

The increased precision of HD-tDCS means researchers can custom-place the electrodes to the skull. In this way, they can modulate specific areas in the brain to treat a wider range of conditions, such as neuropathic pain and stroke. Other uses include neurophysiological studies and cognitive and behavioral assessments.

One 20-minute session of HD-tDCS significantly reduced overall pain perception in fibromyalgia patients as described in one of the studies.

Researchers control the current by a portable device, which they hope physicians can eventually use in the clinic as a noninvasive treatment for chronic pain patients.

"We are working hard to make the technology available for clinical use at U-M," DaSilva said. "Our lab is getting a good number of emails from chronic pain patients looking for treatment."

The conventional technology is already available for many companies, and the HD-tDCS is being patented by the company of one of the developers.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Michigan. "It's shocking: Ultra-focused electric current helps brain curb pain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131028134750.htm>.
University of Michigan. (2013, October 28). It's shocking: Ultra-focused electric current helps brain curb pain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131028134750.htm
University of Michigan. "It's shocking: Ultra-focused electric current helps brain curb pain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131028134750.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins