The United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new electric headband that researchers believe could help prevent painful migraine headaches.
The device is known as Cefaly and it’s being manufactured by Belgian firm Cephaly Technology. Cefaly is a battery-powered plastic headband that is designed to stimulate the nerves in a migraine sufferer’s brain. Remarkably, Cefaly is the first medical instrument designed to help prevent migraine headaches.
Here’s how Cefaly works: first, an adhesive electrode is placed on the the patient’s forehead. Next, the headband emits a low electrical current that stiumulates the nerves typically associated with migraine headaches.
Those who’ve tested the device say they felt a tingling sensation during this stage of the procedure.
The researchers behind the Cefaly say the device is intended to be used for only 20 minutes each day. It’s also designed for adults — meaning it may not be available to children or teens under age 18.
So far, the results have been positive. The FDA says its review of the Cefaly included 67 people, with half using the Cefaly and half being prescribed a placebo. Most of those using the Cefaly reported experiencing fewer migraine headaches.
Tests have not shown the existence of any serious health drawbacks to using the device.
Still, the Cefaly is not quite a wonder device. It did not completely eliminate migraine headaches and a separate study showed that only 53 per cent of 2,313 patients said they were satisfied with the device and would be willing to purchase it.