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Smartphone-Controlled Device Modulates Migraine Pain

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 12 Jun 2019
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Image: A novel electrical stimulation armband patch could alleviate migraines (Photo courtesy of Theranica).
Image: A novel electrical stimulation armband patch could alleviate migraines (Photo courtesy of Theranica).
A novel device worn on the upper arm uses smartphone-controlled electronic pulses to relieve migraines through conditioned pain modulation.

The Theranica (Netanya, Israel) Nerivio Migra is indicated for the acute treatment of migraine--with or without aura--in adults who do not have chronic migraine. The device consists of a programmable chip responsible not only for the electrical nerve stimulation (ENS) and neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) pulses, but also incorporates features such as therapy efficiency control and a safety mechanism. The wireless device is first connected to a smartphone app; when instructed, it generates ENS and NMES pulses, which stimulate subcutaneous sensory nerves via rubber electrode patches.

In a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study involving 252 patients who experienced 2-8 migraines per month, active stimulation with the Nerivio Migra was significantly more effective (66.7%) than sham stimulation in achieving pain relief (38.8%), as well for providing relief of the patients’ most bothersome symptoms (46.3%), versus 22.2% in the sham stimulation, at two hours post treatment. Pain relief was sustained for a further 48 hours. The study was published on May 9, 2019, in Headache.

“The clinical data of this innovative therapeutic device is of very high quality,” said Professor Messoud Ashina, MD, of the Danish Headache Center (Copenhagen, Denmark) and president-elect of the International Headache Society (London, United Kingdom). “It indicates that the device can provide patients with significant relief of pain and other migraine symptoms without the side effects presented by drugs.”

Migraine is a debilitating condition characterized by moderate to severe headaches, and is about three times more common in women than in men. The typical migraine headache is unilateral and pulsating in nature, lasting from 4-72 hours; symptoms include nausea, vomiting, photophobia (increased sensitivity to light), and phonophobia (increased sensitivity to sound). Approximately one-third of those who suffer from migraine headaches perceive an aura--unusual visual, olfactory or other sensory experiences that are a sign that the migraine will soon occur.

Related Links:
International Headache Society

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