Mindfulness Plus Brain Stimulation May Ease Chronic Migraine

Mindfulness practices combined with active rather than sham transcranial direct-current stimulation showed greater benefit

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TUESDAY, Jan. 11, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Mindfulness practices associated with left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) anodal transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) have a therapeutic effect in women with chronic migraine, according to a study published online Dec. 8 in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

Luana Dias Santiago Pimenta, from the Federal University of Paraiba in João Pessoa, Brazil, and colleagues conducted a randomized, controlled, double-blind study involving women aged 18 to 65 years with chronic migraine. The analysis included 30 patients who underwent 12 mindfulness sessions paired with anodal tDCS over the DLPFC three times a week for four weeks (active tDCS, 16 patients; sham tDCS, 14 patients). Patients also performed mindfulness home practices using guided audio files.

The researchers found that in an intragroup analysis, the mindfulness and active tDCS group showed better results regarding full attention level and ability to perform activities of daily living after the treatment. Improvements were also seen in the sham group, but with smaller effect sizes than in the active group.

"The results of this study provide the first therapeutic evidence of the practice of mindfulness associated with anodic tDCS of the left DLPFC with its consequent increase in the level of full attention and its analgesic benefits in the clinical symptoms of patients with chronic migraine," the authors write. "It is hoped that this study will encourage further research on the interaction between tDCS and mindfulness training to reduce the negative effects of chronic migraine."

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