Focused Ultrasound Therapy
Focused ultrasound is an early-stage, noninvasive, therapeutic technology with the potential to improve the quality of life and decrease the cost of care for patients with chronic migraine headaches. This novel technology focuses beams of ultrasonic energy precisely and accurately on targets deep in the brain without damaging surrounding normal tissue.
How It Works
Where the beams converge, focused ultrasound can cause neuromodulation of the occipital nerves that has reduced the severity of chronic migraines in preclinical models.
The primary options for treatment of migraines include medication, many of which have side effects or are only partly effective.
For certain patients, focused ultrasound could provide a noninvasive alternative which may be more effective and have less risk of side effects. It can reach the desired target without damaging surrounding tissue and is repeatable, if necessary.
At the present time, there are no clinical trials recruiting patients for treatment of migraine headaches.
Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement
Focused ultrasound treatment for migraine headaches is not yet approved by regulatory bodies or covered by medical insurance companies.
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Walling IT, Gee L, Neubauer P, Frith L, Williams E, Burdette C, Pilitsis JG. Pulse Modulation of the Occipital Nerve Using Focused High-Intensity Ultrasound Improves Mechanical Thresholds in a Chronic Migraine Rat Model. Neurosurgery. 2016 Aug;63 Suppl 1:150-1. doi: 10.1227/01.neu.0000489692.13840.05.
Rodrigo D, Acin P, Bermejo P. Occipital Nerve Stimulation for Refractory Chronic Migraine: Results of a Long-Term Prospective Study. Pain Physician. 2017 Jan-Feb;20(1):E151-E159.
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