Spinal cord stimulation involves the surgical implanting of a device (also known as an SCS or a dorsal column stimulator) under the skin. A small wire from the device carries a mild electric current from the pulse generator to the spinal cord. It is hoped that spinal cord stimulation might be a key treatment for those who are not able to take conventional treatments or use Botox as a migraine treatment.
A study published in a recent edition of the Journal of Headache and Pain supports this hypothesis. Giorgio Lambru MD and colleagues trialled the SCS treatments on seven patients for two weeks. Those who responded well had the SCS wires implanted permanently. Of these seven patients, four were thought to have had a successful trial period and had at least a 50% decrease in their migraine intensity or frequency.
Between 12-40 months later the progress of the patients was assessed and all four of the participants noted a 50% or more reduction in their migraine intensity and frequency. In addition to this there was also a reduction in the number of days which they needed to take pain medication for. There were no major side effects (except for a worsening of headache pain which was the result of a lead malfunction).
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