A bizarre new device developed by scientists has a shocking method for dealing with queasiness.
There are few things worse than the awful nausea and vomiting a person suffering from motion sickness experiences — but it could all be done away with thanks to one simple innovation.
The causes of motion sickness are not perfectly known, but scientists believe it has to do with contradictory signals of motion from the eye and the ears, so scientists looked there to figure out a solution to the problem, which can be particularly vexing for seafaring travelers, according to a CBS News report.
Scientists figured out a novel way to deal with this: suppress the signal sent from the inner ear to the brain with a mild electrical current applied via the scalp. That way, there is only one signal, and no contradiction that would lead to unpleasant symptoms.
Dr. Qadeer Arshad, who is the lead researcher for the study at the Department of Medicine at Imperial College, led a team that strapped 20 volunteers in a special motorized chair to rotate and tilt them in a way that would make them feel very ill — and it did its job, with all volunteers getting sick.
For the next test, the gave the volunteers a cap with electrodes, sending a mild electrical current into their heads to block the signal. The findings, which were published in the journal Neurology, proved to be quite impressive: those who had the treatment reported a longer amount of time before they got seasick, and they got better more quickly. This indicates that an electrical current can indeed block unpleasant impulses to the brain.
Motion sickness is an unpleasant feeling most people are familiar with. It often includes dizziness and especially nausea and vomiting. People who are on boats that rock about, as well as roller coasters, are particularly prone to this problem.
There are treatments available for it, like Dramamine, but most of them cause drowsiness, which is fine for someone taking a short journey, but for an individual who has to work aboard a cruise ship, for example, or who simply wants to be able to enjoy a day on the yacht without throwing up, it doesn’t quite do the job. This new experiment gives people hope for a better treatment.