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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Are We All Metalheads? S.F. Scientists Test Magnet-Based Migrane Therapy

Posted By on Tue, May 5, 2009 at 5:30 AM

Hey, Magneto! Do me a solid and cure my migraine.
  • Hey, Magneto! Do me a solid and cure my migraine.

An experimental procedure involving magnetic pulses fired into the brain and headache-addled rats -- the combo goes together like chocolate and peanut butter, no? -- could be the answer migraine sufferers worldwide have been praying for while banging their heads against the wall.

U.C. San Francisco scientists -- using rats to follow up on a study of human volunteers by researchers at New York's Albert Einstein College of Medicine -- saw promise in Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). In a nutshell -- no pun intended -- the scientists found that the magnetic pulses from TMS therapy block the waves of "neuronal excitation" which allow the abnormal brain waves associated with migraines to travel through the body. Could a magnetic pulse a day keep the migraine away? Further analysis may discern it to be so. 

Statistics cited by the American Academy of Neurology note that more than 30 million Americans are saddled with migraines, while the National Headache Foundation (such a thing exists) add that migraines are responsible for 157 million lost workdays yearly, causing $13 billion in losses to American employers.

Sounds like migraines are almost as much of an economic burden as the NCAA basketball tournament. Do they have a magnetic pulse for that?

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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