For those who do not suffer from migraines a good way to describe them is like suffering from a terrible hangover. They rehabilitate you to the extent that you do not want to get out of bed. A study that has been conducted at St Jude’s Medical Centre found that on average the patients involved in their study suffered from migraines for four hours a day. Not only this, but that the headaches would continue for around twenty-six days.
The sufferers who are involved in the trial are some of the worst cases that can be seen and they are testing out a new implanted device that works through neurostimulation. A chronic headache is something that lasts for more than fifteen days where the sufferer has the headache for more four or more hours each day even when treated with medication. The Genesis is a new device that will hopefully offer relief to chronic migraine sufferers and its success in trails has lead to it receiving approval by the European regulatory bodies this month.
The Genesis device works through stimulating nerves which are located just below the skin on the back of the head. The device generates small pulses which stimulate these nerves and are shown to reduce the occurrence of migraines.
According to the press release:
The largest clinical study to date evaluating PNS to treat chronic migraine utilized various measures including the Migraine Disability Assessment (MIDAS) questionnaire, subjective assessment scales and daily patient diaries to report headache intensity, frequency, duration and medication use. At 12 weeks, patients in the active group reported an average of seven fewer headache days a month as measured by the MIDAS questionnaire compared to only a one day per month decrease in the control group (non-stimulation group). In addition, overall disability as measured by MIDAS demonstrated that participants in the active group showed a 41% improvement after 12 weeks of stimulation, compared to a 13% improvement in the control group.
Results at one year included:
- 65 percent of patients reported excellent or good pain relief
- 88 percent said they would recommend the procedure to someone else
- 68 percent of patients expressed that their quality of life had improved
- 67 percent were satisfied or very satisfied with the results of their procedure