Scientists Find Cure for Travel Sickness

Conrad – Researchers at a university in the UK could have found a cure for travel sickness.

The BBC reports that the team of scientists at Imperial College London have discovered that using electricity to stimulate parts of the brain eases the symptoms of motion sickness.

Travel sickness can occur while travelling by plane, boat or car, and is believed to be caused by confusion within the brain, which leads to nausea and headaches.

To simulate the effect of travel sickness, the researches strapped 20 volunteers into a chair that spins and twists like a fairground ride, making everyone physically sick.

In the second phase of the trial, half the volunteers had small electrical currents passed into their brains. These volunteers took an extra 207 seconds, on average, for motion sickness to develop.

The scientists said there are no known side-effects to electrical brain stimulation, and that it would be easy to develop as a commercial product.

“Within the next couple of years people will be able to use these devices – it’s not far away,” said Dr Qadeer Arshad from the Imperial College research team. “You can envisage on a cross-Channel ferry, having a small area where if you feel sick this could be applied by a trained person.”

The group is also investigating a similar brain stimulation technique to cure headaches caused by virtual and augmented reality devices.

But other scientists have urged caution. The head of brain stimulation at Cardiff University, Professor Chris Chambers, told the BBC that it would be “irresponsible” to conclude that the trial proves a cure for travel sickness.

“Until the findings are replicated in a large registered trial, I recommend that the public approach any claims about treatment benefits with a healthy scepticism,” Prof. Chambers said.

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