by Karla Hult
“We took 132 patients, and they used this device twice a day, four pulses in the morning, four pulses at night, which takes another two minutes to administer,” said Dr. Amaal Starling, a Mayo Clinic Neurologist who authored the study along with experts from other major academic headache centers across the U.S.. Starling said the device – which is placed against the head -- helped to significantly reduce the recurrence of migraines among the studied patients. “Overall, there was about a three-day reduction in the number of headache days per month. And there was a study endpoint that demonstrated that 46 percent of patients had 50 percent or less migraine attacks that month,” she said.
HealthDay, ‘Magnetic Pulse' Device May Be New Way to Prevent Migraines by Alan Mozes — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had already approved the eNeura SpringTMS device to treat the kind of in-progress migraines that are preceded by an "aura" of flashing lights and visual disturbances. Having found that the device can also prevent up to half of all migraines from occurring in the first place, the FDA has now approved it for both prevention and treatment. "The brain of a person with migraine, which is a neurologic disease with a genetic basis, is hyperexcitable," said lead researcher Dr. Amaal Starling. "In general, if we can reduce hyperexcitability, we can stop and/or prevent migraine attacks." Transcranial magnetic stimulation does that by using energy created by a magnet to "change the electrical environment of neurons or brain cells," she explained.
WebMD, 'Magnetic Pulse' Device May Prevent Migraines — "The brain of a person with migraine, which is a neurologic disease with a genetic basis, is hyperexcitable," said lead researcher Dr. Amaal Starling. "In general, if we can reduce hyperexcitability, we can stop and/or prevent migraine attacks." Transcranial magnetic stimulation does that by using energy created by a magnet to "change the electrical environment of neurons or brain cells," she explained.
Context: A migraine is much more than just a bad headache. Migraine symptoms, which can be debilitating for many people, are the sixth leading cause of disability, according to the World Health Organization. While there is no cure, a new study published in Cephalalgia in March shows single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation is a new way to prevent migraine attacks. It's safe, easy to use and noninvasive. “The migraine brain is hyperexcitable, and basic science studies have demonstrated modulation of neuronal excitability with this treatment modality,” says Amaal Starling, M.D., a Mayo Clinic neurologist, who is first author of the study. “Our study demonstrated that the four pulses emitted from this device twice daily reduce the frequency of headache days by about three days per month, and 46 percent of patients had at least 50 percent or less migraine attacks per month on the treatment protocol. This data is clinically significant. Based on the current study and prior studies in acute migraine attack treatment, sTMS not only helps to stop a migraine attack, but it also helps prevent them.” More information about the study can be found here and here.
Contact: Jim McVeigh