• By Deborah Balzer

Mayo Clinic Minute: New device can prevent migraine attacks

March 29, 2018

More than 38 million Americans suffer from migraine. It is the sixth most disabling neurologic disease globally, according to the World Health Organization. Yet, migraine often is undiagnosed and left untreated. Dr. Amaal Starling, a neurologist at Mayo Clinic, says because the neurologic disease is so incapacitating, it is important to have a variety of treatment options. Dr. Starling is the lead author of a new study that looked at single pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation for the preventive treatment of migraine.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

 Journalists: Broadcast-quality video pkg (1:00) is in the downloads. Read the script.

A migraine. It’s much more than a headache. And it can be debilitating.

“It's a neurologic disease that has light sensitivity, sound sensitivity, motion sensitivity, nausea, vomiting. There are so many components," says Dr. Starling.

There is no cure for migraine but there is a new option cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the acute and preventive treatment of migraine.

“The device is called a single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation device,” says Dr. Starling.

She says the device transmits a signal to the brain, reducing brain hyperexcitability.

“Place it on the back of the head just like that [beeping]’ and then you push these two buttons," says Dr. Starling. "And that administers a pulse.”

The first step, says Dr. Starling, is to get people with migraine to their health care provider so they can be properly diagnosed and treated.

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