The therapy is called transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS. Study findings were presented today (April 29, 2009) during the annual American Academy of Neurology scientific meeting in Seattle.
In a previous randomized controlled clinical study by Ohio State University Medical Center, TMS was used to treat patients who suffer from migraine with aura, a condition in which a variety of mostly visual sensations come before or accompany the pain of a migraine attack. The study showed that TMS treatment was superior to the placebo given to the control group. Patients were pain-free at follow-up intervals of 2, 24 and 48 hours.
In the new study, conducted in rats, UCSF researchers focused on understanding the mechanism of action of TMS therapy -- how the treatment interacted with the brain to produce the pain-free outcomes of patients in the previous study.
The UCSF research identified potential opportunities to enhance treatment strategies in patients. One example, the study team noted, was that factors such as time and peak intensity of stimulation may be important components in the brain's response to TMS.
"The data demonstrate a biological rationale for the use of TMS to treat migraine aura," said Peter Goadsby, MD, PhD, lead investigator of the study, professor and director of the UCSF Headache Center. "We found that cortical spreading depression, known as CSD and the animal correlate of migraine aura, was susceptible to TMS therapy, with the wave of neuronal excitation blocked on over 50 percent of occasions."
The study findings showed that migraine aura responds to magnetic stimulation because TMS therapy blocks the wave of neuronal excitation, which is a biological system through which neurons become stimulated to fire. TMS creates a focused magnetic pulse that passes noninvasively through the skull, inducing an electric current to disrupt the abnormal brain waves believed to be associated with migraine, including CSD. CSD in humans precedes migraine with aura.
The American Academy of Neurology estimates that over 30 million Americans suffer from migraine, a syndrome characterized by recurrent, often excruciating headaches. The National Headache Foundation estimates that migraine causes 157 million lost workdays each year due to pain and associated migraine symptoms, resulting in a $13 billion burden to American employers.
Further research is needed, the UCSF team said, but the findings give neurologists a potential new treatment option for migraine sufferers unable to tolerate medication, which can cause stomach bleeding and other painful side effects.
Additional study investigators were Philip R. Holland, PhD, UCSF; Carol T. Schembri and Joe P. Fredrick, Neuralieve, Sunnyvale, Calif.
The research was funded by Neuralieve, Inc., of Sunnyvale, Calif., which provided the TMS technology for the study. Goadsby has served as an advisor to Neuralieve for which he received an honorarium.
UCSF is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. For further information, visit www.ucsf.edu.
Nerve stimulation therapy alleviates pain for chronic headache http://news.ucsf.edu/releases/nerve-stimulation-therapy-alleviates-pain-for-chronic-headache/
UCSF Headache Center http://www.neurology.ucsf.edu/Brain/Headache.html
University of California, San Francisco www.ucsf.edu
Lauren Hammit | EurekAlert!
Researchers simplify tiny structures' construction drip by drip
12.11.2018 | Princeton University, Engineering School
Mandibular movement monitoring may help improve oral sleep apnea devices
06.11.2018 | Elsevier
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences