Vagus Nerve Stimulation- New Hope for Migraineurs


Another exciting new treatment being tried to treat migraineurs is the noninvasive portable Vagus nerve stimulation. Here is the little information I do have on the topic:

Methods used for the study according to Cephalalgia: Participants with migraine with or without aura were eligible for an open-label, single-arm, multiple-attack study. Up to four migraine attacks were treated with two 90-second doses, at 15-minute intervals delivered to the right cervical branch of the vagus nerve within a six-week time period. Subjects were asked to self-treat at moderate or severe pain, or after 20 minutes of mild pain.

The stimulator currently being referred to as nVNS brings new hope to a world with seemingly little opportunity for those who have failed all current migraine treatments. I would’ve liked to see more males enrolled in the study and perhaps see another involving cluster headache survivors. In this particular study there were 25 women and 5 men used as subjects. Here is the results of this preliminary study: Results Of 30 enrolled patients (25 females, five males, median age 39), two treated no attacks, and one treated aura only, leaving a Full Analysis Set of 27 treating 80 attacks with pain. An adverse event was reported in 13 patients, notably: neck twitching (n = 1), raspy voice (n = 1) and redness at the device site (n = 1). No unanticipated, serious or severe adverse events were reported. The pain-free rate at two hours was four of 19 (21%) for the first treated attack with a moderate or severe headache at baseline. For all moderate or severe attacks at baseline, the pain-free rate was 12/54 (22%).

That’s a HIGH pain free rate in my opinion with very few adverse events especially since nothing serious or severe was reported in terms of adverse events. 22% is a great success especially since that’s the PAIN FREE rate. I wonder how many experienced moderate relief it must’ve been almost 100% of the group being treated with that high of a pain free rate I am almost more hopeful for this than I am CGRP or SPG blocks. Anyways here’s the conclusion that the authors of the study came to:

Conclusions nVNS may be an effective and well-tolerated acute treatment for migraine in certain patients.

Now I personally think much more research needs to be done but they’re being too modest in their conclusion. This is a highly successful study that brings hope to the future of migraine specific medicine though this procedure is also being studied for epilepsy patients. Anyways I won’t pretend to know anymore than I truly do and I hope you’ve enjoyed this article. Thank you for your time and I truly hope you all find some relief!


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