A clinical study underway on non-invasive device that could spell relief for migraine sufferers

WETHERSFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) – Millions of people worldwide suffer from pulsating, pounding headaches. There is no cure for a migraine.

Megan Reddy’s migraines escalated after giving birth to three daughters.

“At the height of it, I was really losing about four solid days a month where I was just sick in bed.”

Medicine prescribed by Dr. Abigail Chua has brought some relief.

Megan says, “I’ll get a few headaches here and there but not to the point where I have to stop what I’m doing and like down bed or anything like that.”

But a clinical trial at the Hartford HealthCare Headache Center, could impact patients like Megan even more.

An armband neuro-stimulation device is the focus of the study.

Dr. Chua explains, “You would put it on either arm. The goal of this device is to block pain stimulus, that’s happening from your migraine, to potentially abort your migraine completely.”

It is non-invasive, easy to use, no pain or side effects, and no medication involved.

“Many patients can’t take medications for other health reasons or they prefer not to take medication,” says Dr. Chua.

The device delivers electrical stimulation.

Dr. Chua adds, “Essentially it’s blocking signals from the migraine so that you don’t actually feel your migraine pain. It only turns on for about 25 minutes so within that time you should either have complete elimination of your headache pain or a decrease in its severity.”

A smaller study showed promising results.

“It did show,” says Dr. Chua, “I think 64% of the patients who used the device, using the treatment instead of placebo had complete elimination of their headaches 50% of the time.”

And patients can control it by using an App on a smartphone.

Megan says, “Hopefully over time, it will sort of diminish or break the cycle of them and I won’t have to take the rescue medications anymore. I’m excited to see if it works for me.”

Dr. Chua is looking for more adult migraine patients to participate, ideally, having two to eight migraines a month.

Tonight, there’s a grand opening celebration of the Hartford HealthCare Headache Center in Blue Back Square.

It’s a one-of-its-kind personalized headache care center — offering integrated and personalized care.

For more information about the study, contact headacheresearch@hhchealth.org or call 860-696-2925.

You can also go to hhcheadachecenter.org and click on the link ‘Research and Clinical Trials.”

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