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Pulse Away Migraine Pain

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Stops Pain, Study Shows

TMS Device Well-Tolerated

In his study, the TMS device greatly reduced noise and light sensitivity, both problems for migraine sufferers, says Mohammad, who serves on the medical advisory board of Neuralieve, the makers of the device. While 84% of the 23 patients who used the TMS device had no noise sensitivity two hours later, only 17% of the placebo group reported no noise sensitivity. While 70% of the TMS users had no light sensitivity two hours later, only 22% of the placebo group had no light sensitivity problems.

Ability to get back to work was better in the TMS group, with 86% of the TMS users saying they had "normal cognition" or "mild impairment" two hours later, compared with 56% of the placebo-treated group.

One Woman's Experience

Carol Murphy, 61, an accountant in Fairborn, Ohio, was one of the patients who used the TMS device in Mohammad's study. "It gave me back my life," she says. "For the last 10 years, I probably spent 14 to 16 days a month with migraine. My migraines lasted two full days and into the third. I was losing a whole lot of time."

When she used the TMS device, she says, she was "back to functioning normally" within two hours. "Sensitivity to light goes away, sensitivity to sound goes away and nausea [another common problem] goes away."

What's Next

A new study of the device will begin in July at nine centers, with a goal of enrolling 200 patients, Mohammad says.

Ting Lu, the chief financial officer of Neuralieve in Sunnyvale, Calif., says the unit weighs just less than 3 pounds. The user charges the unit for about 15 seconds, picks it up by its two handles, holds it to the back of the head and presses a button to administer the two magnetic pulses. They will hear a clicking noise and vibration.

The hope is to create a version patients can use at home; the cost is not yet known, Lu says. It could be available by mid-2007.

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