Meet gammaCore: FDA-approved nerve stimulator that relieves migraine pain from outside
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a vagus nerve stimulator for the treatment of migraines in adults, which is called gammaCore. The portable device is placed on the vagus nerve in the neck, releasing a slight electrical stimulation to the afferent nerve fibers. gammaCore relieves migraine pain from the outside.
Stephen D. Silberstein, the professor of neurology and director of the Headache Center, explained that "with the FDA's decision to approve Gamma Core for migraines, patients now have access to an effective and safe treatment that can be self-administered to treat acute pain associated with migraines."
Results of the PRESTO study with migraine patients
The PRESTO study included 243 patients with episodic migraines. Significantly more members of the group who received non-invasive vagal nerve stimulation were pain-free after 30 minutes (12.7%) than those who received a placebo treatment (4.2%; p = 0.01). A higher percentage of the group that received vagus nerve stimulation were pain-free at 60 minutes (21% vs. 10%, respectively, p = 0.02).
Cristina Tassorelli, the principal investigator, said that "PRESTO data suggests that Gamma Core was effective in a rapid, well-tolerated, and practical way for the acute treatment of episodic migraines.”
"Migraine is the third most common disease in the world and one of the 10 most disabling diseases, which highlights the need for new treatment options," added Tassorelli. gammaCore will be commercially available for the treatment of migraine headaches in adults in the second quarter of 2018, according to the manufacturer.
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