Magnetic impulses against migraines

Magnetic impulses against migraines: In a study in 267 migraine subjects, US researchers alleviated the pain in an acute migraine attack without magnetic effects.

About 10 percent of people in Germany suffer from migraines. Migraines are three times more common among women than among men. About 20 to 30 percent of migraine sufferers have aura symptoms in addition to the headache.

The migraine patients participating in the study also complained about the phenomenon of the aura. This is a condition that usually precedes the actual headache and is characterized by tunnel vision, light sensitivity and light spots on the eyes, tingling in the extremities (arms and legs), nausea and speech impairment.

In the study, which was published in the journal "The Lancet Neurology", the scientists led by Professor Dr. Richard B. Lipton from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, in 18 centers in the USA, introduced what is known as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). They gave the test subjects strong individual impulses on the brain with a magnetic stimulation device - the TMS method is already being tested in the fight against tinnitus, Parkinson's disease and depression. A control group received a placebo.

As a result, in the group receiving the magnetic stimulation, the headache was significantly better in 39 percent. The control group also had a fairly high positive balance of 22 percent. The sooner the treatment started, the more successful it was.

Until now, migraine patients had to rely on help in the form of tablets. If over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory agents don't help, triptans are usually the treatment of choice. These are agents that constrict the blood vessels in the brain and reduce the pain and inflammation response. Side effects can include a short-term increase in blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmia, circulatory disorders, feelings of oppression and pain in the skeletal muscles. Even if most of these symptoms are said to occur very rarely, TMS represents an even fewer side effects method. This could develop a real alternative to the previous forms of treatment. To do this, the researchers would have to have the magnetic stimulation device, which was still quite large, manufactured on a small transport size for on the go. Furthermore, further clinical tests should now be carried out to determine whether a larger or stronger number of impulses increases the effect. It is believed that the magnetic pulses affect electrical currents in the human brain that are related to migraines. (Thorsten Fischer, non-medical practitioner osteopathy, 04.03.2010)

For further reading:

The study
Migraines: Heart attack and stroke risk increased
Less migraine attacks in pregnancy

Author and source information

Video: Meningeal contribution to migraine pain: a magnetic resonance angiography study

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