Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Migraines & Headaches Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

New Treatment for Cluster Headaches

Nerve Stimulation Shows Promise When Drugs Fail

New Hope continued...

The trial participants were followed for an average of 20 months, during which time two patients reported 90% to 95% improvements in attacks. Four other patients reported more moderate improvements of between 20% and 80%.

Six of the eight patients said they would recommend the treatment to other people with drug-resistant chronic cluster headaches.

In a similarly designed study from Belgium’s Liege University, two of eight patients treated with occipital nerve stimulation reported being pain-free after follow-ups of 16 and 22 months, respectively. Three other patients reported roughly 90% reductions in headache frequency and only one patient discontinued treatment.

The studies are published in the March 8 online editions of the journals The Lancet and The Lancet Neurology.

Not Sure Why It Works

Neurologist Jean Schoenen, MD, PhD, who co-authored the Belgian study, tells WebMD that the next step is to figure out why the stimulation treatment works.

“We really don’t know,” he says. “We are hoping that brain imaging studies can tell us which areas of the brain are affected by this treatment.”

Diamond, who is founder and director of the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago, says he would consider trying the nerve stimulation procedure in his patients with drug-resistant chronic cluster headaches.

But he dismissed the idea that it is the only minimally invasive treatment option for these patients. He tells WebMD that he has had good responses with another minimally invasive treatment.

“The main message is that there are effective treatments for the vast majority of cluster headache patients,” he says.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

Business woman with hand on face and eyes closed
What aura looks like, triggers, and more.
woman with migraine
Get the truth about migraines.
 
headache in the bedroom
Keep headaches from ruining your sex life.
woman with hands on head
Test your knowledge of triggers, types, and more.
 
woman with migraine
Quiz
drinking coffee
Article
 
Migraines Headaches Basics
Article
acupuncture needles in woman's back
Slideshow
 
Tired young man
Slideshow
spraying perfume
Article
 
man with a headache
Article
headache in the bedroom
Article