Nerve Stimulation for Migraines

All the headache forums have been abuzz this week with questions about nerve stimulation to treat migraines. I’ve had an occipital nerve stimulator since December 2003, so I can share a patient’s perspective. I haven’t blogged about it much yet because I don’t know where to start. It’s time to get over that.

For those who aren’t familiar with this experimental treatment, the stimulator sends electrical impulses to the occipital nerve, which interrupt the pain signals sent along the nerve. For good basic information about the device and procedure, see the Neurotech Reports article on nerve stimulation. This article expands Medtronic’s press release that was issued in September 2004, when an occipital nerve stimulator study began.

I plan to break what I have to share into bite-size pieces so it’s easier to write about. Expect a lot of posts about it in the next few weeks. If you have any specific questions, e-mail me (kerrie at thedailyheadache dot com), and I’ll be sure to answer them.