Seasickness Could Be Ended Due To A New Treatment

Posted: Sep 5 2015, 8:56am CDT | by , Updated: Sep 5 2015, 3:24pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

Seasickness could be Ended due to a New Treatment
A volunteer is pictured in the motion sickness simulator with an electrical current applied to his scalp. CREDIT: Imperial College London
  • Highly effective treatment could be the cure to severe seasickness!

A mild electrical current to the scalp via smartphone can stop responses from the area pf brain causing motion sickness.

Yesterday a new study was published regarding a cure for seas sickness. The study paper was published in the journal Neurology. According to the study, motion sickness caused due to travel on sea could be ended in 5 to 10 years. A new treatment has been offered by researchers which could be the cure to seas sickness.

The causes of motion sickness are still unknown. But scientists have theorized the brain receives confusing messages from the ears and eyes. Which result in motion sickness. Anyone can get queasy while moving either on a boat or roller-coaster. But 3 in 10 individuals experience a severe type of motion sickness. These individuals are affected with dizziness, severe nausea, cold sweats etc.

The study was carried out at the Imperial College London. The proposed treatment involves applying mild current to the scalp. The currents will dampen the responses in the area which cause motion sickness. The current lower the impact of confusing signals. The study claims the technique is safe and effective. The treatment will also likely be available for everyone to buy in the future.

The research was led by Dr Qadeer Arshad from the Department of Medicine. According to Dr. Arshad they are very confident in 5 to 10 years people will be able to buy anti-motion sickness device.

Dr Qadeer Arshad said: "We are confident that within five to ten years people will be able to walk into the chemist and buy an anti-seasickness device. It may be something like a tens machine that is used for back pain. We hope it might even integrate with a mobile phone, which would be able to deliver the small amount of electricity required via the headphone jack. In either case, you would temporarily attach small electrodes to your scalp before travelling - on a cross channel ferry, for example."

The study was conducted on volunteers who wore electrodes for 10 minutes while sitting in a rotating chair. The motorized chair tilted for the entire duration of 10 minutes similar to the motions of boats or roller coasters. Following the treatment the individuals were less likely to develop nausea and recovered quickly.

Professor Michael Gresty from Imperial College who collaborated in this study and is a world expert on motion sickness said: "The problem with treatments for motion sickness is that the effective ones are usually tablets that also make people drowsy. That's all very well if you are on a short journey or a passenger, but what about if you work on a cruise ship and need to deal with motion sickness whilst continuing to work?

"We are really excited about the potential of this new treatment to provide an effective measure to prevent motion sickness with no apparent side effects. The benefits that we saw are very close to the effects we see with the best travel sickness medications available."

Dr Arshad said: "From other studies we also have evidence that stimulating the brain in this way can enhance attention and concentration. This aspect is of great interest to the military and we imagine that other groups such as students and people who spend long periods playing computer games will also want to try it out.

"The currents involved are very small and there is no reason to expect any adverse effects from short term use."

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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