tDCS/tACS to treat migraines

Are you suffering from migraines? Try something new.

What are migraines?

Migraines are severe, recurring headaches. Typically these headaches affect only one half of the head. They are pulsating in nature and can last from about two to 72 hours. Associated symptoms with migraines may also include sensitivity to light, sound and smell, nausea and vomiting etc. Normal recommended treatments include pain medication such as paracetamol and ibuprofen. Approximately 15% around the world suffer from migraines and apparently, no effective solution has been found.

Effective Treatment of Migraine; tDCS:

Recently, mu

ch importance has been given to transcranial direct current stimulation that alters the mechanism underlying the cortical excitability which is said to have become dysfunctional during migraine. tDCS have been reported to be safe and effective tool in dealing with the cortical excitability, activation and plasticity In migraine.

Experiments on Migraine Using tDCS:

Thirteen patients, with chronic migraine, were randomized to get active and sham tDCS of 2 mA for 20 minutes over 4 weeks. These patients received over 10

 session of stimulation during this time period. The data for results was collected before, during and after the treatment. A significant improvement was seen in the follow up period in the active tDCS groups only. Co

mputational model studies showed that the current flew into different regions of the cortical and subcortical that are highly associated with the migraine pain. The current was also generated in thalamus, cingulate cortex, insula and brainstem regions.


ent studies have shown that patients with chronic migraine pain have a positive response when tDCS is directed towards the anodal motor cortex. These effects may be related to electrical currents induced in pain-related to cortical and subcortical regions.

Another study, including 13 patients with chronic migraine, used tDCS as a preventive migraine therapy. After 10 sessions, the patients reported a 37% decrement in their pain intensity. But the symptoms kicked in after four weeks of treatment. The assistant professor of the study said that it was important that repetitive sessions were arranged to revert ingrained changes in the brain related to migraine.

Other studies have reported that stimulation of the motor cortex decreases the chronic pain. However, this study provided the first known mechanistic proof th

at tDCS over the motor cortex might work as a successful precautionary remedy in complicated and complex, chronic migraine cases, where attacks are more constant and flexible to traditional treatments.

This powerful method of brain stimulation and modulation has determined compelling results in different kinds of chronic pain, and has proved to be more eff

ective regarding enhancing the pain tolerance than other forms of transcranial stimulation. tDCS has promising effects for the medication and treatment of chronic pain disorders, including other of its amazing features such as small portable size, economic cost, and capability to provide a more stable placebo condition.




Brain stimulation in migraine. (n.d.). Retrieved from NCBI:

Migraine patients find pain relief in electrical brain stimulation. (2012, april 19). Retrieved from mechigan news:

tDCS for Migraine Headache. (n.d.). Retrieved from The Brain Stimulation Clinic:

tDCS-Induced Analgesia and Electrical Fields in Pain-Related Neural Networks in Chronic Migraine. (2012, april 18). Retrieved from NCBI:

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) of the visual cortex: a proof-of-concept study based on interictal electrophysiological abnormalities in migraine. (2013, march 11). Retrieved from Springer link:


One thought on “tDCS/tACS to treat migraines”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *