Occipital nerve stimulation effective for chronic migraine

October 29, 2016

(HealthDay)—For patients with chronic migraine (CM), peripheral nerve stimulation of the occipital nerves reduces the number of headache days, according to a study published online Oct. 25 in Pain Practice.

Nagy A. Mekhail, M.D., Ph.D., from the Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues implanted 20 at a single center with a neurostimulation system, and randomized them to an active or control group for 12 weeks. Patients received open-label treatment for an additional 40 weeks.

The researchers observed a reduction in the number of headache days per month (8.51 days; P < 0.0001). Sixty and 35 percent of patients achieved a 30 and 50 percent reduction, respectively, in headache days and/or . All patients had reductions in Migraine Disability Assessment and Zung Pain and Distress scores. At least one adverse event was reported by 15 of the patients, with a total of 20 adverse events reported.

"Our results support the 12-month efficacy of 20 CM patients receiving peripheral nerve stimulation of the occipital nerves in this single-center trial," the authors write.

Explore further: Peripheral nerve blocks OK for migraines in pregnancy

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