New device could provide medication-free migraine relief - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

New device could provide medication-free migraine relief

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A new FDA-approved magnetic device could provide migraine relief without medication.

She's had migraines since she was a child. Christine Oinenen Ehren says they steal her hours and her days.

"It's like your senses get turned up to like 11 and suddenly I can't stand the smell of the shampoo in my hair," she said.

While medication works most of the time, she's interested in a new device, the very first just approved by the FDA for treatment of migraines with auras, called the cerena transcranial magnetic stimulator.

The second generation of the device is already being sold in Europe.

"I think it's exciting because it's very, very safe and it gives us a non-medication alternative," said Dr. Bret Haake, neurologist.

"A lot of headache disorders are actually worsened by over-using medications and so anything we can to do to get people to use less medications for their headaches tend to be better," he said.

Held against the back of the skull, the device sends a pulse of magnetic energy through the skull into the occipital cortex of the brain.

"The theory is by changing the electric field in the nerve cells in the brain that it can change the chemical balance and the way the nerve cells are communicating with each other and that can tilt the balance and make the headache go away," said Dr. Haake.

It's migraine relief without medication.

"It would be great to have anything that would salvage me more time," said Ehren.

The company that makes it is still determining when it will be available in the United States. It will only be available by prescription.

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