I first heard of Dr. Upton, in 2004, when he announced that he had produced an electronic gun, which he said could kill off headaches, especially migraines. His therapy works by firing magnetic pulses into the brain.
The current pharmaceutical approach is to use drugs called triptans, that narrow blood vessels, but some patients do not respond, and there is a risk of severe side effects such as heart attacks.
Migraines are crippling headaches that affect around 10% of people in the United States. They are sometime preceded by an 'aura' in which a person sees flashing or shimmering light, blind spots or feels tingling.
In 2004, Dr. Upton believed that his headache gun could eventually be run on six AA batteries and be portable enough for people to carry with them.
Today Dr. Upton’s technique is called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). One medical journal in 2010 stated that, “Recently, several clinical studies have shown that single-pulse TMS is an effective and well-tolerated treatment for migraine with or without aura, thus suggesting that TMS may offer a non-pharmacologic, non-behavioral therapeutic approach to the currently prescribed drugs for patients who suffer from migraine.”
Despite the apparent success of TMS, several migraine specialists remarked that this approach seemed interesting, but these type of approaches seem to come and go and they will wait for further testing. The specialists concern was that while the migraines were halted, they would eventually return at another time. Wouldn’t the same be said for the pharmaceutical approach?
In the years since 2004, some studies have been conducted, there has not been any detrimental adverse effects noted in patients. TMS has an effective rate of approximately 70%.
Substantial research money to further test and improve the technique has not been forthcoming. This has been the sad reality for the electromagnetic approaches in medicine. Funding obviously does not come from the pharmaceutical industry nor is funding readily available from government sources. This was the same experience of Dr. Bjorn Nordenstrom, the Nobel Committee Chairman, who shrank lung and breast cancer tumors using electricity in the 1980s. Dr. Nordenstrom was not able to secure any research money in the United States so he brought his technique to China. In China, more than 2,500 medical doctors worked with 12,500 patients using Nordenstrom’s technique, with a 72% positive effect on lung and breast cancer patients.
Shortly I will be proposing a plan to rectify this situation regarding research funding for energy based therapies. When avenues appear to present promising directions in research I believe that they should be pursued. Isn’t the final goal of research intended to be the alleviation of pain and suffering? Please continue to follow my posts for more information.
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