Occipital Nerve Stimulation Reduces Headache Days

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Sixty and 35% of patients achieved a 30 and 50% reduction in headache days.
Sixty and 35% of patients achieved a 30 and 50% reduction in headache days.

HealthDay News — For patients with chronic migraine (CM), peripheral nerve stimulation of the occipital nerves reduces the number of headache days, according to a study published in Pain Practice.

Nagy A. Mekhail, MD, PhD, from the Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues implanted 20 patients at a single center with a neurostimulation system, and randomized them to an active or control group for 12 weeks. Patients received open-label treatment for an additional 40 weeks.

The researchers observed a reduction in the number of headache days per month (8.51 days; P< .0001). Sixty and 35% of patients achieved a 30 and 50% reduction, respectively, in headache days and/or pain intensity. All patients had reductions in Migraine Disability Assessment and Zung Pain and Distress scores. At least one adverse event was reported by 15 of the patients, with a total of 20 adverse events reported.

"Our results support the 12-month efficacy of 20 CM patients receiving peripheral nerve stimulation of the occipital nerves in this single-center trial," the authors write.

Reference

Mekhail NA, Estemalik E, Azer G, Davis K, Tepper SJ. Safety and Efficacy of Occipital Nerves Stimulation for the Treatment of Chronic Migraines: Randomized, Double-blind, Controlled Single-center Experience. Pain Pract. 2016; doi:10.1111/papr.12504.

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