Mayo Clinic: A migraine is much more than just a bad headache. Migraine symptoms, which can be debilitating for many people, are the sixth leading cause of disability, according to the World Health Organization. While there is no cure, a new study published in Cephalalgia in March shows single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation is a new way to prevent migraine attacks. It's safe, easy to use and noninvasive.
Researchers at Mayo Clinic and other major academic headache centers
across the U.S. recently conducted the study that examined the
effectiveness of using a single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation
device to prevent migraine attacks. The eNeura SpringTMS Post-Market
Observational U.S. Study of Migraine study, also known as ESPOUSE,
instructed participants to self-administer four pulses with the device
in the morning and four pulses at night over three months to prevent and
treat migraine attacks as needed. Spring TMS stands for Spring
transcranial magnetic stimulation or sTMS.
“The migraine brain is hyperexcitable, and basic science studies have
demonstrated modulation of neuronal excitability with this treatment
modality,” says Amaal Starling, M.D.,
a Mayo Clinic neurologist, who is first author of the study. “Our study
demonstrated that the four pulses emitted from this device twice daily
reduce the frequency of headache days by about three days per month, and
46 percent of patients had at least 50 percent or less migraine attacks
per month on the treatment protocol. This data is clinically
significant. Based on the current study and prior studies in acute
migraine attack treatment, sTMS not only helps to stop a migraine
attack, but it also helps prevent them.”
“For certain patients, treatment options for migraines, such as oral
medications, are not effective, well-tolerated or preferred,” Dr.
Starling adds. “The sTMS may be a great option for these patients and
allow doctors to better meet their unique needs.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration already had approved the sTMS
device for the acute treatment of migraine with aura. The FDA now has
approved it to prevent migraine, as well.