Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Promising long-term treatment for chronic headache sufferers

Date:
October 13, 2013
Source:
American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA)
Summary:
For the more than 45 million Americans who suffer from chronic headaches, relief may be on the way in the form of an electric pulse. Electric stimulation of the peripheral nerve reduced average headache intensity by more than 70 percent.

For the more than 45 million Americans who suffer from chronic headaches, relief may be on the way in the form of an electric pulse, according to a study presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY™ 2013 annual meeting. Electric stimulation of the peripheral nerve reduced average headache intensity by more than 70 percent.

Related Articles


With electric stimulation of the peripheral nerve, a thin insulated wire is implanted in the back of the head (occipital nerve) or in the forehead above the eyebrow (supraorbital nerve) and delivers electric pulses to block pain. The study looked into the safety and long-term usefulness of this treatment.

"Despite advances in headache treatment over the past two decades, many people do not get adequate pain relief from current treatments, or they cannot tolerate the side effects of the medications," said Billy K. Huh, M.D., Ph.D., professor and medical director of the Department of Pain Medicine at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, and adjunct professor of the Department of Anesthesiology at Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C. "This treatment offers hope to those patients and a chance for a major improvement in quality of life."

The study monitored 46 patients who received peripheral nerve stimulation between 2005 and 2012. Follow-up phone interviews were conducted to determine subsequent headache intensity, frequency of headaches per month, complications and overall satisfaction with the treatment.

The study found that both headache intensity and frequency decreased significantly. The average headache intensity was reduced by more than 70 percent. The average number of "headache days" decreased from 28 to 14 per month. Ninety percent of patients were satisfied with the treatment, with one reporting more than eight years of reduced headache intensity and frequency.

A drawback of the treatment is its relatively high level of complications, which include electrode migration, equipment problems and infection. The study authors state that as physicians gain experience with implantation techniques, complications will decrease.

"This is a real breakthrough for chronic headache sufferers," explained Dr. Huh. "For patients with no other options to relieve their pain and suffering, this treatment is a way for them to get their life back."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA). "Promising long-term treatment for chronic headache sufferers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131013163311.htm>.
American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA). (2013, October 13). Promising long-term treatment for chronic headache sufferers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131013163311.htm
American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA). "Promising long-term treatment for chronic headache sufferers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131013163311.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins