Migraines affect millions of people, an estimated
11% of the population. There is no cure, but a new medical procedure
is promising relief for people who suffer the debilitating headaches on a daily basis.
New at 10, NBC 5’s Susy Solis looks at a treatment that puts patients back in control.
Fifteen year-old Jessica Andre has spent much of her teen years visiting with doctors.
It starts in the back, the beginning of my neck and it just goes up.
A constant migraine for the past two years has affected her life dramatically.
A lot of times I just want to lay in bed all day. I’ve tried a countless amount of medicines,
none of them worked. I’ve had Botox injections, an occipital nerve block and I had been to
a massage therapist and a chiropractor, tried everything.
Now, she is undergoing a fairly new procedure. It is somewhat analogous to a pacemaker for
the heart, a little battery is under the skin with little wires that pass under the skin,
two of them over each eyebrow and two of them in the back.
Electrodes provide electrical stimulation to the nerves in the brain.
The patient perceives a very mild tingling sensation, a vibration, and the net affect
of it is their headache goes away in a dramatic fashion.
Patients first get a trial stimulator for a week’s time and if it works, the patient
will get a permanent implant. Doctors say the procedure has an 80% to 90% success rate.
They’ll put in a trial neurostimulator and most patients will know within days, or even
hours, if the procedure worked. For Jessica, there is good news.
I woke up and the back headache was totally gone.
Days after the permanent implant was put in …
It has been a lot better than it was. It has overall improved this.
An external device allows Jessica to control how much charge to administer.
The battery is right here and you just hold this over where the battery is and then it
will make this weird sound and then you can turn on the levels up or down, it’s like you’re
getting a head massage. Now she controls the migraine and not the
other way around. Susy Solis, NBC5, Dallas. Neurostimulators are meant for patients who
have not responded to traditional treatments