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Occipital Nerve Stimulation Effective for Chronic Migraine

Single-center study involving 20 patients shows reduction in number of headache days

headache

FRIDAY, Oct. 28, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with chronic migraine (CM), peripheral nerve stimulation of the occipital nerves reduces the number of headache days, according to a study published online Oct. 25 in Pain Practice.

Nagy A. Mekhail, M.D., Ph.D., from the Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues implanted 20 patients at a single center with a neurostimulation system, and randomized them to an active or control group for 12 weeks. Patients received open-label treatment for an additional 40 weeks.

The researchers observed a reduction in the number of headache days per month (8.51 days; P < 0.0001). Sixty and 35 percent of patients achieved a 30 and 50 percent reduction, respectively, in headache days and/or pain intensity. All patients had reductions in Migraine Disability Assessment and Zung Pain and Distress scores. At least one adverse event was reported by 15 of the patients, with a total of 20 adverse events reported.

"Our results support the 12-month efficacy of 20 CM patients receiving peripheral nerve stimulation of the occipital nerves in this single-center trial," the authors write.

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