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In news that won't make you ill, there's a new treatment for motion sickness.

Scientists found a new answer to motion sickness. And one day, it could fit in your pocket.

In news that won't make you ill, there's a new treatment for motion sickness.

25%-40% of Americans suffer from some degree of motion sickness, and it can be a real buzzkill.

GIF via "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon."


It's hard to enjoy your day at a theme park when you're nauseous, dizzy, and not sure you can keep down your corn dog. Medications like Dramamine can dull the symptoms, but those might make you drowsy, too — and the urge to curl up in a corner and sleep is just as likely to ruin your day (not to mention your commute to work).

But scientists just found a surprising new treatment for motion sickness.

In a recent study published in the journal Neurology led by Dr. Qadeer Arshad at Imperial College London, volunteers were hooked up to electrodes that sent a mild electrical current to a region of their brains for about 10 minutes. The current simply passed through the scalp to the brain — no scary, invasive stuff. Then the volunteers sat in a rotating motorized chair designed to make them feel sick.

Meet Subject A, one of the guys who underwent this odd-seeming test. Hopefully the set up won't always be this cumbersome. Photo provided by Imperial College London, used with permission.

And get this: Thanks to the electrical current, the participants left the chairs feeling less likely to toss their cookies.

It turns out that you can nix the nausea by slapping some electrodes to your scalp before riding the tilt-a-whirl, and the electrical current won't even make you drowsy.

Here's how it works.

No one is exactly sure what causes motion sickness, but scientists think the inner ear is the culprit.

The inner ear contains a network of nerves that provide information about motion and balance. As the inner ear collects that information, it passes it along to the brain.

Science lesson time! This is a photo of the internal workings of the ear, which affect balance and give you information about motion. Photo via iStock.

The problem is that when you're, say, reading in the car, the inner ear registers that you're moving while your eyes register that the page of the book is not. So the brain receives mixed signals. It freaks out just enough to give you motion sickness.

But when you suppress those signals from the inner ear to the brain (cue the electrical current), you trick your brain into not noticing that your perceptions don't quite add up.

Goodbye, nausea.

Arshad predicts that in five to 10 years, you'll be able to buy a device for treating motion sickness that plugs into your cellphone, too.

Rather than plugging into this airplane chair-turned motion sickness curer, you may be able to plug into your phone. Photo provided by Imperial College London.

The device of the future would use your phone to pass a tiny electrical current through two small electrodes, kind of like earbuds that send electricity to your scalp instead of carrying music to your ears.

With our phones already playing an important role in personal health care (the health app in the iPhone 6 and 6-plus uses a built-in step-tracking sensor to automatically record how much you walk, how far you run, and how many stairs you climb), this seems like a smart solution.

What a dizzyingly awesome discovery.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.