Anti-seasickness device comes closer to reality

Washington D.C, Sept 6 (ANI): A team of researchers believe that they could develop a new treatment for seasickness within five to ten years, thanks to a breakthrough in the area of concern.

The cause of motion sickness is still a mystery but a popular theory among scientists says it is to do with confusing messages received by our brains from both our ears and eyes, when we are moving.

Research from Imperial College London shows that a mild electrical current applied to the scalp can dampen responses in an area of the brain that is responsible for processing motion signals.

Doing this helps the brain reduce the impact of the confusing inputs it is receiving and so prevents the problem that causes the symptoms of motion sickness.

This technique offers a safe and effective intervention that is likely to be available for anyone to buy, in the future.

Lead author Qadeer Arshad said that they 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.

Arshad added that they 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, people would temporarily attach small electrodes to your scalp before travelling – on a cross channel ferry, for example.

The research team are already beginning to talk to partners in industry about developing the device. In particular, there is interest from the military for various aspects of their work. This might include helping people who are remotely controlling drones using a visual interface that can lead to nausea.

Arshad noted that the currents involved are very small and there is no reason to expect any adverse effects from short term use.

The study is published in the journal Neurology. (ANI)

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