Friday, November 24, 2006
Medical Reports: Medical Migraine Relief
It's a pounding pain for millions of Americans. They have learned how to live with migraine headaches. But if medication doesn't work, doctors have invented a device to ease the pain. 7's Criag Stevens has more in tonight's Healthcast.
WSVN -- Chrissy Freuh's suffered from migraines her entire life.
Chrissy Freuh: "I remember the lights bothering me and the sun."
They got worse after she had kids.
Chrissy Freuh: "You always think, 'Could it get worse?' And it does get worse."
Her mom, sister and two kids also have migraines.
But, for Chrissy, it can get so bad, she often has to take nine drugs and even then, they don't always work.
Dr. Fred Freitag: "If we could just offer them another tool, another approach to bring management to their headaches, to bring back their quality of life, it is all worthwhile."
That's why headache and pain specialists are teaming up to study nerve stimulation for migraine relief.
Dr. Sandeep Amin: "You are stimulating large nerve fibers, which have the ability to block the sensation of pain."
They believe this device -- when implanted -- can send electrical impulses from the back to the brain.
Dr. Fred Freitag: "So, when we stimulate these nerves in the upper neck with the stimulator, it goes in and actually turns off the center of the brain that causes the migraine to begin."
Doctors believe it should work on about half of all patients, reducing at least 60 percent of the pain.
Dr. Sandeep Amin: "I think it opens a window for probably millions of patients who are suffering from migraines, who have no alternatives."
Chrissy's willing to try anything to alleviate her pain.
She believes the stimulator will be the answer she's been waiting for.
Chrissy Freuh: "Having chronic pain every day, it gets to you. There's just nowhere to go. You are constantly with it and even the strongest of people, you run out of coping skills."
The study is currently enrolling patients with migraines at about 15 different sites around the country.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Diamond Headache Clinic