One of the latest instruments in migraine management technology uses a handheld machine that uses a magnet to send transcranial magnetic stimulation to send pulses into the area of the head that’s aching. To use it, the sufferer must hold the unit behind your head so that a magnetic pulse is shot through the skull at the push of a button. It sounds a little bit barbaric to say, but the pulse is actually harmless in every sense other than that it should knock your headache back to wherever it came from, or so says the people who have tried it. As the pulse enters the head it causes a disruption in neurons, which causes the pain to discontinue. Currently the NICE or National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has stated that this device is suitable for patients and can be prescribed to those who require it through specialists. Rhiannon Mills of Sky News reports: “The treatment will only be available to patients referred to specialist clinics, but it is hoped it may help those for whom other remedies have proved ineffective.”
The treatment proves hopeful to many users, even women who are expecting, which is a large improvement upon medicated treatments which are generally avoided during pregnancy without a doctor’s consultation, and usually that’s only in extreme cases. This means no chemical interactions within your system, no side effects to worry about caused by medications, and although it might not work for one hundred percent of migraine patients, the number of people it could help will put a huge dent in those affected globally.
The Symptoms Being Eradicated
Migraines differ from headaches in many ways, but particularly at the level which they assault your senses. Not only does the throbbing in your head spread from your eyes, clear to the back of your skull, but it can cause severe sensitivity to bright and even dim lights, and nausea and dizziness are not uncommon. Another factor that separates these debilitating headaches from regular pains in the head are that they can last anywhere from four to seventy-two hours, which causes many sufferers to miss work, and personal time with family and friends because they feel too miserable to leave their beds. The above mentioned magnetic device is said to offer up to ten days without headaches, although this could differ from person to person based on your own experiences and usage. Common methods outside of the medicine oriented forms of treatment range from hypnotherapy to acupuncture, none being proven successful to all users.
New Experimental Drugs
There are two new drugs on their way to the market that are still in an experimental stage, which may help to prevent migraines from occurring in chronic sufferers. Amy Norton of Web MD writes: “The drugs, one given by IV and one by injection, are part of a new approach to preventing migraine headaches. They are “monoclonal antibodies” that target a tiny protein called the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) — which recent research has implicated in triggering migraine pain.”
During the study in which these medicines were tested there was a huge reduction in the headaches for a period of five to eight weeks after only one dose. The percentage of reductions was as high as sixty-six percent. In a separate trial, the injection drug was administered over a three month period biweekly, and the findings were just as positive in the treatment of migraines. One of the neurologists who worked on the studies of both drugs, Dr. Peter Goadsby or the University of California in San Fransisco has made it clear that a breakthrough is on the horizon for migraine management and that those who are misfortunate enough to interact with these headaches can relax and feel better about this fact.
Still, migraine sufferers can “take heart” that new drugs, specific to the pain condition, are under development, said Dr. Peter Goadsby, a neurologist at the University of California, San Francisco, who worked on both studies. Previous drugs used have incorporated anti-seizure medications and even some antidepressants, but this new strain of treatments is designed to prevent the migraines from occurring and don’t involve the same mixtures of other remedies. Unfortunately further studies will need to be concluded before these drugs are available.
Blood Pressure Medicine
A final remedy that’s recent to the medical market being used to treat headaches is actually a blood pressure medication called candesartan, which is used to treat hypertension disorder in heart patients. A study recently performed by St. Olavs Hospital in Norway, along with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology or NTNU found that this works particularly well for patients who have tried other heart medication treatments without reprieve from their painful headaches. This is a wonderful breakthrough for the medical world, as it gives physicians more choice in choosing treatments for their patients. Science Daily says: “Candesartan is already in use by several doctors as a migraine prophylactic, but the NTNU follow-up study, which confirms the study from a decade ago, provides the proof that the drug actually works.”
Findings report that there is a margin of more than twenty to thirty percent of patients feeling relief from their migraines, whereas the placebo group had only a twenty percent change in symptoms. This test was different than some others as it was a triple blind test, which means that not the patients, doctors, or researchers knew which group was getting the placebos and which were getting the actual medication.