Monday, December 22, 2008
Medical Reports: Migraine Magnet
Migraines can be debilitating and force many people to rely on powerful pain medications, but as Seven's Richard Lemus shows us, now a new technique zaps away the pain before it starts using a Migraine Magnet.
WSVN -- It happens at the worst times.
Richard Higgins: "Migraines are pretty inconvenient for me."
Richard Higgins has suffered from migraines since he was a kid. Now the biomedical engineer often gets them at work.
Richard Higgins: "My first symptoms are auras, which are small blind spots in my vision, and over the course of 10 to 15 minutes that blind spot grows so much so that I can't read or I can't drive safely."
But there may be a way to relieve Richard's pain without medication.
Yousef Mohammad: "This is a very exciting and important option."
It's called a Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS.
Yousef Mohammad: "They'll put it at the back of their head, and they'll receive two pulses."
The device sends magnetic pulses during the aura phase, the warning period before the migraine hits. It's often described as an electrical storm.
Yousef Mohammad: "We're interrupting this electrical storm or current in the brain before it leads to the headache."
Research shows 39 percent of patients were pain-free two hours after the treatment compared to 22 percent who got fake pulses. Richard eagerly joined the TMS trial hoping to find a replacement for pain killers.
Richard Higgins: "Using a device that can disrupt my migraine without taking medicine, I think, is for me a much safer way to deal with the symptoms."
Richard Lemus: "The TMS device could be approved in the next few months. If approved, it will probably be much smaller than the one used in the research trials."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Ohio State University Medical Center Sheri Kirk
Medical Center Communications