Medtronic Inc. (NYSE:MDT) said Friday that stimulating the occipital nerve in the spine may help relieve migraine headaches.
The Fridley, Minn.-based medical device giant said results from a clinical trial show that patients undergoing the treatment experienced a significant reduction in migraines.
In the study, a pulse generator delivered low bursts of electricity to the spinal cord’s occipital nerves, which carries sensory signals to the brain.
Of the 66 patients who received the therapy, 39 percent, or 11 patients, said they experienced 50 percent less migraine days says per month. Overall, the patients reported an average of 27 percent fewer headache days per month after three months of treatment.
“Migraine affects more than 28 million people and for up to 14 percent of those people, their migraines become chronic and can severely affect quality of life,” Michigan Head Pain and Neurological Institute founder and director Dr. Joel Saper said in prepared remarks.
“The patients in this study had been unsuccessful in controlling their debilitating, frequent migraines,” he said. “The positive impact [therapy] had on the migraines in these severely impaired study participants is promising and supports the need for ongoing study of this therapy.”
Dr. Saper and the study’s other researchers published an article detailing their work in the international headache journal Cephalalgia.