Migraine headaches: Could nerve stimulation help?

Are you one of the 20 million to 40 million people in the US suffering with migraine headaches? If so, here’s news worth noting: The FDA has just approved an over-the-counter nerve stimulation device that hands mild electrical shocks to the forehead as a road to avoid or discuss migraine headaches.

This might seem like an unlikely lane to treat migraines, so how did we get here? And what’s the evidence that it slogs? Is this a game changer? Hype? Or a medication that precipitates somewhere in between?

Our varying understanding of what causes migraines

Blood jugs throughout the body, including those near the brain, shrink( choke) and open up( distend) regularly, throughout the day. That’s normal, and it varies depending on the situation. Sleep, body temperature, physical pleasure, and many other factors affect this activity of blood vessels. Not long ago, conventional wisdom held that migraines were due to an exaggeration of this normal constriction and enlargement of blood vessels. Experts thought that a trigger — like certain meat, stress, or a host of other factors — originated blood vessels plying pain-sensitive parts of the intelligence unexpectedly constrict for a short while and then dilate, before returning to normal. We is a well-known fact that similar blood vessel alterations occur in other conditions such as Raynaud’s disease, so this was an appealing theory to explain migraine symptoms.

If migraines were due to exaggerated blood vessel constriction and enlargement in some people, that could explain why migraines are so common, temporary, and not are connected with any permanent hurt to the brain or other parts of the body. However, this theory is now considered wrong.

The current assumption of migraine

Current evidence( as described in this review) therefore seems that migraine headaches starting with an abnormal activating of cells in the nervous system that spreads across the brain. This leads to inflammation near pain-sensitive parts of the intelligence, the liberate of chemical messengers, and changes in the sensitivity of guts that carry ache signals. Among the guts involved are fields of the trigeminal nerve. This nerve supports sensation to areas of the face, and oversight matters muscles that allow us to pierce or chew. It’s too connected to the pain-sensitive lining of the brain.

This evolving understanding of potential causes of migraine headaches has led to treatments that sharpens less on blood vessel changes and more on ways to block chemical messengers involved in pain signals. Triptan medications, including sumatriptan( Imitrex and others) and rizatriptan( Maxalt ), are good examples.

What about nerve foreplay for migraines?

In recent years, studies have demonstrated that electrical stimulation of disciplines of the trigeminal gut over the forehead can discuss migraine headaches and even prevent them. One such device, the Cefaly Dual, has been available by prescription to prevent migraine headaches since 2014. It was just cleared as an over-the-counter device to prevent and plow migraine headaches. Clearance differs from FDA admiration for effectiveness and safety for drugs and lifesaving technology like defibrillators; it allows medical design makes to marketplace a product because the FDA considers it safe and similar to other legally sold products.

The evidence supporting gut stimulation to prevent or analyse migraine include the following 😛 TAGEND

A study published in 2013 recruited 67 people with migraines and equated electrical stimulation to sham stimulation for 20 minutes every day as a highway to impede headaches. Over three months, fewer headaches and a reduced need for migraine medication were observed among those getting the real treatment. Improvement by at least 50% was indicated in 38% of study topics, but in only 12% of the imitation group. In a 2013 survey of more than 2,300 beings exerting electrical stimulant for 20 minutes every day for two months to prevent migraine, exactly over half reported pleasure with the design and a willingness to buy it. A 2019 study arbitrarily earmarked 106 parties with an active migraine headache to receive electrical foreplay over the forehead or a sham therapy( minimal electrical foreplay) for one hour. Those receiving treatment reported tendernes reduction of nearly 60% while those working in the imitation group has there 30% sorenes reduction.

What about downsides?

None of these studies reported serious side effects related to electrical stimulation. While a tickling agitation at locations other than construction sites of foreplay was common, few realized it as unpleasant or annoying enough to stop treatment.

Cost is a consideration. The device’s maker currently rosters its standard price as $499, and states that it is not covered by health insurance. It does “re coming with” a 60 -day money-back guarantee, which could help users decide if it’s worth the price.

Finally, there’s the time commitment. To frustrate migraines, useds are advised to apply the design for 20 minutes every day. For treatment of acute headache, a 60 -minute medicine is recommended.

The bottom line

This treatment has been available since at least 2014 and is certainly no dry. So, electrical foreplay for migraine can hardly be considered a game changer for most migraine sufferers. But it seems to me it’s not empty-bellied publicity either. There is reasonable evidence that it’s safe and at least somewhat effective.

The recent action by the FDA to constitute the Cefaly Dual accessible without a drug should make it more accessible. And, by follow-up measures, a modestly effective, drug-free way to treat migraine is a positive development. Hopefully, future studies of this machine will clarify who is most likely to benefit by consuming it. But we need even better options. Advances in our understanding of how migraines develop and ongoing study should provide them.

Follow me on Twitter @RobShmerling

The post Migraine headaches: Could nerve stimulation promotion ? materialized first on Harvard Health Blog.

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