Motion Sickness Treated Through Brain Stimulation

Tired of getting motion sickness? You may soon be able to treat it with a portable device.

Researchers from Imperial College London have used brain stimulation to treat motion sickness by attaching electrodes to the scalp and sending mild electric currents to the brain for about 10 minutes. No side effects have been found yet.

While the exact cause of motion sickness is unknown, research has linked it to the functioning vestibular system, which is part of the inner ear that senses movement. The UK researchers decided to target the inner ear to see if motion sickness could be reduced when signals from the vestibular system and the brain are decreased.

One way to do this is by applying current to the specific brain region responsible for this inner ear communication. The researchers, according to their report published in the journal _Neurology,_decided to use transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a weak, painless electrical current.

The researchers tested 10 men and 10 women wearing a cap of electrodes for 10 minutes while receiving the stimulation. At the same time, the chair in which the participants sat simulated motion sickness by turning and tilting at various speeds. The results showed that those who received an inhibiting form of electrical stimulation recovered faster and didn’t feel as nauseous as those who did not receive that form of treatment.

The team is already in talks with a firm to develop a portable device that ccould implement this treatment.

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