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AHS: Magnetic Hand-Held Device May Stop Migraine

Feasibility study suggests method is safe and can be self-administered

WEDNESDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) -- A portable device that employs magnetic stimulation to deliver transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) may be a safe and effective way to reduce or prevent headache when used during the visual aura phase of migraine, according to preliminary research presented at the American Headache Society's annual scientific meeting in Los Angeles.

In the three-month study, 42 patients were instructed to report to the hospital if they experienced visual aura. Patients were randomized to have two TMS pulses or placebo pulses delivered to the occiput with a hair-dryer-sized device. The technique was used to treat 50 headache episodes, said Yousef Mohammad, M.D., principal investigator of the study and a professor of neurology at Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus.

Forty-two percent of the TMS-treated patients rated the results as "very good" or "excellent," compared with 26 percent of placebo-treated patients. Eighty-four percent of TMS-treated patients reported no noise sensitivity at two hours post-treatment, compared with 22 percent of the placebo group.

"If we confirm our promising results with a larger trial, we would also like to study transcranial magnetic stimulation in patients without aura," said Mohammad.


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