Briton researchers have recently found that application of gentle cooling and warming currents, for 20 minutes daily inside the ear canal, can cure migraine.
According to researchers, thermal currents, that were delivered by aluminium earpieces seated within padded headphones, powered and controlled by a small hand-held device, showed a significant reduction in the number of migraines.
Volunteers in the study who had a history of migraines experienced a significant reduction in the number of migraines they normally experienced in a month after using a technique known as caloric vestibular stimulation (CVS).
The findings demonstrated that the treatment reduced both the number of migraine days per month (the active treatment group experienced a reduction of 3.6 days compared to 0.9 days in the placebo group) as well as headache pain and the consequent need for migraine abortive prescription medications.
CVS activates the balance of organs which are believed to alter activity in the area of the brain, known as the brainstem, associated with the onset of migraine headaches.
Dr David Wilkinson from the University of Kent in Canterbury carried out double-blinded, placebo-
the study involved 81 participants with a history of between four and 14 migraine attacks per month.
The participants self-administered caloric vestibular stimulation daily for 20 minutes over a period of three months.
The thermal currents were delivered by aluminium earpieces seated within padded headphones, powered and controlled by a small hand-held device.
Dr Wilkinson said the results indicated that vestibular stimulation 'may address the existing need for new preventative therapies for episodic migraine'.
Professor Peter Goadsby said that many patients want non-drug options, so developing a non-drug therapy such as this may provide that.
The study is scheduled to be presented at the American Headache Society's annual meeting.