Traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects many Americans: high school athletes, drivers and passengers in motor vehicle accidents, and victims of domestic violence, to name a few. Some of the most striking effects of brain injury are seen in our soldiers and veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Two University of Utah researchers are teaming up with the Department of Defense to investigate the long-term effects of TBI in these returning soldiers. K.C. Brennan, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Neurology, and Edward Dudek, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Physiology, are collaborating on the study. "Because of advances in protective equipment and armor, more and more of our service personnel are surviving their initial injuries, " says Brennan, the study's lead investigator.
Although exercise is often prescribed as a treatment for migraine, there has not previously been sufficient scientific evidence that it really works. However, research from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, has now shown that exercise is just as good as drugs at preventing migraines. Doctors use a variety of different methods to prevent migraines these days: on the pharmaceutical side a drug based on the substance topiramate has proved effective, while non-medical treatments with well-documented effects include relaxation exercises. No previous evidence Exercise is also frequently recommended as a treatment, though there has not been sufficient scientific evidence that it really has any effect on migraine patients. In a randomized controlled study researchers from the University of Gothenburg's Sahlgrenska Academy have now analysed how well exercise works as a preventative treatment for migraines relative to relaxation exercises and topiramate.
St. Jude Medical Announces European Regulatory Approval Of First Implanted Neurostimulation Device To Treat Chronic Migraine
St. Jude Medical, Inc. (NYSE:STJ), a global medical device company, announced it has received the industry's first and only regulatory approval for the use of an implanted neurostimulation device for patients with intractable chronic migraine. The company received European CE Mark approval for its Genesis™ neurostimulation system for peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) of the occipital nerves for the management of the pain and disability associated with intractable chronic migraine. This type of migraine is defined as headache lasting at least four hours per day for 15 or more days per month, causing at least moderate disability, and not responding to three or more preventive drugs. PNS therapy for this condition involves the delivery of mild electrical pulses to the occipital nerves that are located just beneath the skin at the back of the head.
In a move that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) turned down earlier this year based on a lack of evidence that it actually works, St. Jude Medical has won European CE regulatory approval for the use of its implanted neurostimulation device for patients with severe chronic migraine headaches. Earlier this summer, the FDA said it wanted to see an even greater rate of migraine improvement for patients in the study using the device compared with those in a control group. The new European device treats migraines by stimulating nerves at the base of the head with electrical pulses, which seems to block pain signals from reaching the brain, St. Jude said. There are currently few treatments for people who suffer serious recurring migraine headaches. The therapy for this condition involves delivering mild electrical pulses to the occipital nerves that are located just beneath the skin at the back of the head.
Cluster headache has a substantial detrimental effect on quality of life. New invasive procedures, such as hypothalamic deep brain stimulation and bilateral occipital nerve stimulation, may help patients with chronic refractory headache. This is one of the conclusions reached by Charly Gaul and co-authors from the Department of Neurology at the University Medical Center Essen in the current issue of Deutsches Arzteblatt International. Cluster headache is the commonest trigemino-autonomic headache, affecting some 120, 000 people in Germany. Typically, patients suffer unilateral short attacks, which are accompanied by restlessness. The causes of cluster headache are not clear. Men are affected more often than women, with a ratio of 3.5:1. Treating the pain attacks with trioptans or inhalation of pure oxygen is effective and well supported by scientific evidence.