Portable device 'helped 73% of migraine sufferers'
on 22/09/2012 00:00:00
The research was discussed by experts at the European Headache and Migraine Trust International Congress in London, and will be welcomed by sufferers who find current available medicines do not work, produce major side-effects or are unsafe to use due to other medical conditions.
Some 73% of migraine sufferers prescribed the device by headache specialists in Britain reported a reduction or alleviation of pain.
Migraine symptoms were improved in 63% of patients, or for some did not develop, and the number of headache days experienced declined for more than half of them (53%).
During the trials, patients found no intolerance or side-effects using the non-invasive, single pulse Spring Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) device, which the medical technology company eNeura Therapeutics developed in the United States.
One patient who took part in the trials, Andy Bloor, said: "I suffer from chronic migraines. Put simply, for me the TMS device worked.
"The key for me was using the device quickly - as soon as the migraine started. When I did, often on first use and always on subsequent uses, it stoppedthe migraine in its tracks.
"The plus of the device is it reduces my reliance on strong drugs like cocodamol."
Professor Peter Goadsby, the congress joint-chair and a neurologist, said: "For the many migraine sufferers whose medicines just do not do the job, it is exciting to see such an innovative, novel approach to treatment that provides new optimism."
According to Migraine Association of Ireland it is estimated that migraine costs Irish businesses €252m every year as a result of lost productivity with the average person with a migraine missing between 1.5 and 4.5 days from work annually.
It came days after the UK's health watchdog warned that common painkillers could be causing people to have headaches.
People who regularly take medicines such as aspirin and paracetamol could be causing themselves more pain than relief, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) said.
Medication "overuse" could contribute to headaches for people who have been taking such medicines for up to half of the days in a month over three months, a spokesman said.
Nice said common over-the-counter treatments are effective for easing the pain of occasional headaches but using them for tension-type headaches or migraine can reduce their effectiveness and cause further pain.