About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Pain in Chronic Headache Eased by Nerve Stimulation

by Rajashri on October 11, 2008 at 5:57 PM
Font : A-A+

 Pain in Chronic Headache Eased by Nerve Stimulation

Researchers found that a novel therapy using a miniature nerve stimulator instead of the medication for the treatment of profoundly disabling headache disorders relieved pain by 80-95 percent.

The findings, by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London, give doctors the promise of a non-drug treatment option for pain sufferers unable to tolerate indometacin - the standard medication known to cause stomach bleeding in some patients.

Advertisement

The device, called a bion, is a rechargeable battery-powered electrode, similar in size to a matchstick. When implanted near the occipital nerve in the back of the neck, it eases pain by generating pulses that the nerve receives. The bion can be turned on or off via an external wireless remote control.

For the study, the researchers measured the effectiveness of nerve stimulation in six patients aged 37 to 64 with hemicrania continua -a rare headache disorder defined by the International Headache Society as a form of chronic daily headache in which patients have 15 days or more of headache per month.
Advertisement

In the beginning of the study, participants underwent a minimally invasive surgery to have the bion implanted at the occipital nerve. Each participant then received continuous stimulation of the nerve for the first three months.

The device was switched off for the fourth month, ensuring that patients did not receive stimulation of the occipital nerve during that time, and switched on again at month five.

Switching off the bion allowed researchers to measure whether the device, rather than the placebo affect, was responsible for pain modulation.

To test long-term safety and efficacy of nerve stimulation therapy, follow-up sessions with the patient, a researcher and a device technician occurred once per month for four months.

Patients kept diaries, at hourly intervals during waking hours, which included a pain severity scale ranging from 1 to 10 points. Participants shared their diaries with researchers after the fifth month.

It was found that within a range of six to 21 months after implantation of the bion, five of the six patients reported sufficient benefit to recommend the device to other patients with hemicrania continua.

At long-term follow-up, four of the six patients reported substantial pain improvement at a level of 80 to 95 percent, one patient saw a 30 percent improvement, and one patient reported that his pain worsened by 20 percent.

Overall, the researchers found that participants not only improved with the bion therapy, but their pain worsened when the bion was switched off during the fourth month.

Also, diary submissions revealed an overall reduction in the pain score of five to eight points.

The findings appear in the November 2008 issue of Lancet Neurology.

Source: ANI
RAS/SK
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Spirituality and Mental Health
Health Benefits of Sea Buckthorn
Contraceptive Pills in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Curtail Type 2 Diabetes Risk
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Migraine Headache / Cephalgia Temporal Arteritis Headache Symptom Evaluation Altitude Sickness Brachial Plexus Injury Tension Headache Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Hangover Remedies: Helpful Tips to Relieve Nasty Headache Brain Freeze 

Recommended Reading
Army Personnel at Increased Migraine Risk
Migraine headaches are very common among U.S. military personnel, yet the condition is frequently .....
Altitude Sickness
Travellers and adventure seekers who climb or fly to high altitudes often experience severe headache...
Brachial Plexus Injury
Brachial plexus is a network of nerves that transmits signals from the spine to shoulder, arm and .....
Brain Freeze
Ice cream headache or brain freeze is a temporary pain due to eating or drinking a cold substance or...
Hangover Remedies: Helpful Tips to Relieve Nasty Headache
Holiday times are cool - night outs, parties, friends and - er - carousing! Then, comes that nasty h...
Headache / Cephalgia
A headache literally means ‘pain in the head’. It is a common complaint that may occur frequently in...
Headache Symptom Evaluation
A headache could vary in features according to the cause....
Migraine
Migraine is a chronic disorder characterized by headache, nausea, vomiting or sensitivity to light a...
Temporal Arteritis
Giant Cell Arteritis (GCA) or Temporal Arteritis is a condition where arteries those supplying to th...
Tension Headache
Tension headache or Stress Headache is the most common type of headache that occurs at any age, and ...
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) is a rare condition that occurs when blood vessels or nerves become c...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use