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New Technique to Treat Cluster Headache by Electric Nerve Stimulation

Jul, 2021 - By WMR

New Technique to Treat Cluster Headache by Electric Nerve Stimulation

New research demonstrates that severe cluster headache could be treated with new mechanism of electric nerve stimulation.

Researchers at Leiden University developed a new technique to reduce the severity and frequency of headache among patients who suffers from chronic cluster headache. The new technique is called occipital nerve stimulation (ONP). The research study of this new technique was also published in the journal The Lancet Neurology explaining about the trials of electric stimulations for treatment. The technique wasn’t a substitute for clinical treatment; however it was essential for those who are unresponsive to drugs and clinical treatments.

The idea to treat certain chronic headaches through stimulating nerves electrically was around for almost half a century. The technique was refined as it was found that the electrodes implantation could treat migraine by stimulating the occipital nerve. It could treat chronic migraine, which was unresponsive to at least three drugs. The research for the technique was mainly focused on patients with medically intractable chronic cluster headache (MICCH) conditions, who are among 15% of patients suffering from chronic headache who do not respond to medical treatments.

The researchers designed a dose in such a responsive way that it could cause tingling sensations called paresthesia, which allows patients to identify the stimulation. The technical trial was carried out on random selection of subjects. Some of the subjects were given 100% of occipital nerve stimulation (ONS) and the other were given 30% ONS. The outcome of the trial was that both the intensities of stimulation caused similar kind of paresthesia. There was improvement in both high and low dose cohorts suggesting that a low and high dose of electric stimulation was equivalent when it comes to relief from headache.

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