New migraine treatments are being cited all the time. The latest cures and preventative treatments range from the latest pharmaceutical drugs to the truly obscure home remedies. Everyone is different and it’s whatever works for you.
Sadly though not everyone has found his or her own miracle cure yet, but there is a new treatment on the market that has been getting promising results. Once more unto the breach we go then.
As you’ve probably already guessed it’s called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, or TMS for short. It works by the patient holding the device against their scalp which will then send magnetic pulses through the skin. The number of pulses, their strength, frequency and duration can be adjusted and the settings used recorded on the device. Useful. It means you don’t have to remember and makes keeping track of your treatment in your headache diary that much easier.
Both sufferers with and without aura migraines can use it and it can be provided as part of a mixture of treatments as it doesn’t affect the use of triptans, anti-nausea medication, painkillers, botox, acupuncture or nerve blocks. Essentially you name it, it should be ok to use with it.
Why it works is still not yet certain but trials have had good results so far. Only one or two people reported minor side effects. One study found that three quarters of patients who were treated repeatedly had a large reduction in their attack frequencies. Of the 164 people in another study, 39% experienced no pain two hours after the treatment and 29% were still without pain twenty-four hours later with no need for medication. That being said though the placebo group had 22% with no pain after two hours and 16% still pain free after twenty-four so it is by no means a miracle cure-all. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) warns that “reduction in symptoms may be modest.”
It is manufactured in the U.S. and can be rented for £150 a month, however NICE have published guidance for its use and currently recommend that it is only provided through healthcare specialists. This is because while its safety for short and medium term use has been thoroughly investigated, evidence of long-term effects is limited and still requires further research and monitoring.
Certainly one to watch though.
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