Millions of migraine sufferers may be able to get relief from a new portable device which stopped attacks for patients who took part in clinical research.
News of the hand-held device, which delivers a brief magnetic pulse to the back of the head, comes just days after a warning that up to a million people in Britain suffer from severe headaches through taking too many painkillers.
The research was discussed today 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.
Seventy-three percent of migraine sufferers prescribed the device by headache specialists in Britain – including clinics in London, Hull, Bath, Exeter, Liverpool and Aberdeen – reported a reduction or alleviation of pain.
Migraine symptoms were improved in 63 per cent of patients, or for some did not develop, and the number of headache days experienced declined for more than half of them (53 per cent).
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 stopped the migraine in its tracks.”