Device Provides Sustained Pain Relief for Migraines With Aura

Handheld device delivers pulses of transcranial magnetic stimulation

TUESDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- A handheld device that delivers pulses of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) provides sustained pain relief for acute migraines with aura, according to a study published in the April issue of The Lancet Neurology.

Richard B. Lipton, M.D., from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, N.Y., and colleagues randomly assigned 201 adults with migraine with aura to either a single-pulse TMS using a portable device or a sham stimulation. Patients were instructed to treat up to three attacks over three months while experiencing aura.

Of the 164 patients who treated at least one attack, the researchers found that significantly more patients treated with single-pulse TMS were pain-free after two hours (39 percent versus 22 percent), which continued for 24 and 48 hours. The two groups were similar in terms of the incidence and severity of adverse events, nausea, photophobia and phonophobia. There were no serious adverse events linked to the device.

"The use of TMS could be a major step forward in the treatment of migraine with aura, particularly in patients in whom presently available drug treatment is ineffective, poorly tolerated, or contraindicated," Hans-Christoph Diener, M.D., from University Hospital Essen in Germany writes in an accompanying editorial.

The study was funded by Neuralieve. Several authors reported financial, advisory and consulting relationships with drug and device companies, including Neuralieve.

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