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Non-Drug Treatments For Migraine Pain

Posted by Jane Akre
Thursday, June 26, 2008 11:38 PM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Conflict-Of-Interest, FDA and Perscription Drugs, Brain Injury, Headaches, Migraines,

An electrical stimulation to the base of the skull might offer relief to some from migraines. 


IMAGE SOURCE: ©iStockphoto/ headache sufferer/ author: Kaisphoto


For migraine sufferers, drawing the curtains, taking a medication and hoping it works is the usual course. But these new studies suggest a drug-free alternative.

They both call for the stimulation of nerve centers in the head to alleviate headache pain.  

A hand-held transcranial magnetic device stimulating the back of the head just as the migraine is about to start, helped reduce pain in some study volunteers.  The magnetic device is thought to interrupt the nerve pathways and chemicals in the brain that lead to migraines.

The lead author, Yousef Mohammad, a professor of neurology at Ohio State University Medical Center says that the early stages of a migraine, the aura phase, is when the device is used. Reported to be the size of a hair dryer, it's put on the back of the head and a button is pushed to deliver the pulse.

In 39 percent of participants, the headache was gone within two hours. But at the same time 22 percent of the placebo group also reported no pain in two hours.  Three migraines were treated over a three-month time period.

The doctor is a consultant to the California company that makes the device called Neuralieve, expected to take at least six months to get on the market.

(A story on CBS Evening News tonight asks "Is your doctor under the influence? "of drug companies they consult for to give a favorable review of a products?  Drug makers reportedly pay about $57 billion a year to doctors, more than is spent in research and development of new drugs. Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa wants these payments made transparent.)

Another device made by Medtronic Inc. is implanted in the back of the neck. It sends impulses through the central nervous system to fight a chronic migraine headache.  Among a group of 28 patients fitted with the device, more than one third report their number of headaches were reduced by half.

Medtronic says more than 28 million Americans suffer from migraines. Many are women who often do not respond to medicine.

Expect more news about migraine therapies as the American Headache Society meets in Boston today.  #

1 Comment

Anonymous User
Posted by Sylvia Walford
Friday, July 04, 2008 10:41 AM EST

My daughter age 45 has had a chronic migraine headache for about 6 years now and is on disability. Has this device been tested with those who have ongoing pain?

Comments for this article are closed.

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