Electrocortical therapy for motion sickness


This would be wonderful for me, as I get motion sickness at the drop of a hat. Our friends have a lake house, with a pier that goes on to a floating platform, as soon as I step off the grounded pier, onto the floating part, I start feeling nauseous! I’m fine in the water, but floating piers, boats, and don’t even talk to me about roller coasters, just writing the word is making me feel light headed and nauseous… So this transcranial direct current stimulation application to suppress the vestibular system, which alleviates motion sickness, may well be a godsend to the likes of us. That just means a mild electrical shock will desensitize your balance system, which will then not interpret motion signals to cause motion sickness! This is much better than taking, for example, Dramamine, which knocks me out totally, so I don’t know if my motion sickness is really gone, or I just don’t feel it because I am,  ummm… unconscious! Sign me up please! And now I have to stop writing about this so my head can stop swimming! Seriously, someone make the room stop spinning!


Given a sufficiently provocative stimulus, almost everyone can be made motion sick, with approximately one-third experiencing significant symptoms on long bus trips, on ships, or in light aircraft.1–4 Current countermeasures are either behavioral or pharmacologic. Behavioral measures include habituation/desensitization treatment protocols5 as well as positioning the head in alignment with the direction of the gravito-inertial force and maintaining a stable horizontal reference frame.5 Pharmacologic measures include antimuscarinics, H1 antihistamines, and sympathomimetics, which all detrimentally impact upon cognitive function, rendering them inappropriate for occupational use.5 All current therapies are only partially effective. Since a functioning vestibular system is critical to the development of motion sickness,1 we proposed that suppressing vestibular activity could increase tolerance to nauseogenic motion stimuli. We previously showed that application of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), specifically unipolar cathodal stimulation over the left parietal cortex, results in suppression of the vestibular system.6 Herein, we assessed whether such suppression of vestibular activity using tDCS in normal controls may alleviate motion sickness.

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