According to a new scientific study, motion sickness symptoms could be eased through stimulation of some parts of the brain via electricity.
Scientists from Imperial College London stated that, due to clinical trials on 20 subjects, the method could be similar to drug recreational use, except the drowsiness.
The feeble electrical impulses interfere with the internal structure of one’s ear, that which is aimed at controlling balance.
The discovery was reported in Neurology. However, other scientific circles have been skeptical to this solution. More thorough research ought to be made during further clinical trials. Electrical zap therapy does sound a bit unusual.
Previously, motion sickness was known to be caused by mixed messages deriving from one’s ears and eyes. Motion sickness usually occurs while traveling by boat, plane or car, culminating in headaches and nausea. Other symptoms include dizziness and cold sweats.
Dr. Qadeer Arshad, representative from the movement and balance group at Imperial, explained that motion sickness was correlated with their inner ear structure, and if their inner ear would be damaged, motion sickness would disappear.
The scientific team’s efforts were aimed at manipulating those impulses coming from the inner ear organs, via “transcranial direct current stimulation,” while people would experience nausea.
The 20 participants were asked to sit on a specific chair, which would spin them at a particular angle. The chair was dubbed the “chunder chair.”
The chair, going round and round, and tilting, made them nauseous, in approximately 5 minutes. Every volunteer had a go.
Half of the participants were administered with mild electrical currents in order to alter the messages sent by their brain. This happened one hour later. The other half was administered with a dummy treatment.
The results were concise and showed that small electrical currents that stimulated half of the volunteers would improve recovery times, as they delayed motion sickness by 207 seconds. In those who were given the dummy therapy, motion sickness was initiated 57 seconds sooner.
Dr. Arshad claimed there wouldn’t be side effects to the electrical currents treatment, and that it was similar to the effects of the drug known as scopolamine (but this one puts people to sleep, instead). The treatment might be used to cure the common seasickness, among others, such as
“students and people who spend long periods playing computer games,”
continued by saying Dr. Arshad.
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