A new type of treatment called the 'Transcranial magnetic stimulation' (TMS) has been approved by the National Institute for Health Care and Excellence (NICE) for use in migraine patients. It can be used irrespective of whether the person suffers from aura or not. (Aura refers to certain symptoms that the person experiences before the migraine attack). It may be used to treat a migraine attack once it has started, or to prevent in patients who suffer from recurrent attacks.
The new treatment is likely to provide hope for the numerous migraine patients who suffer from migraine despite taking medications. In this form of treatment, a small magnetic pulse is delivered via a device that is placed on the scalp. The number of pulses, strength, duration and frequency can be adjusted depending on the requirement of the patient. An important advantage of this treatment is the device can be carried around and the treatment can be administered even at home.
AdvertisementTreatment of Migraine:
Treatment of migraine has always been a challenge for doctors. Though newer drugs are now available, even these may not be effective in some cases. Mild cases of migraine can be treated with simple painkillers and medications for vomiting. More severe cases are usually treated with medications from a group of drugs called the triptans. Several other drugs are also available for the prevention and treatment of migraine.
The exact mode of action of TMS in migraine is not known. It is also important to know that this new treatment does not work for all patients of migraine, as demonstrated in clinical trials. TMS can be administered to patients who take antimigraine medications as well.
Side Effects of Magnetic Therapy:
Current studies on TMS are small and therefore, it is unclear what side effects TMS would cause. Some reported side effects include dizziness, drowsiness, irritability, vigorous dreams and momentary muscle spasms. However, experts do warn of the possibility of more serious side effects including seizures.