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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Therapeutic neuromodulation in primary headaches

Nervenarzt. 2010 Oct 24. [Epub ahead of print]

[Therapeutic neuromodulation in primary headaches.]

[Article in German]
Institut für Systemische Neurowissenschaften und Kopfschmerzambulanz der Neurologischen Klinik, Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), Martinistraße 52, 20246, Hamburg, Deutschland,


Neuromodulatory techniques have developed rapidly in the therapeutic management of refractory headaches. Invasive procedures comprise peripheral nerve stimulation (particularly occipital nerve stimulation), vagus nerve stimulation, cervical spinal cord stimulation and hypothalamic deep brain stimulation. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and transcranial direct current stimulation are noninvasive variants. Based on current neuroimaging, neurophysiological and clinical studies occipital nerve stimulation and hypothalamic deep brain stimulation are recommended for patients with chronic cluster headache. Less convincing evidence can be found for their use in other refractory headaches such as chronic migraine. No clear recommendation can be given for the other neuromodulatory techniques. The emerging concept of intermittent stimulation of the sphenopalatine ganglion is nonetheless promising. Robust randomized and sham-controlled multicenter studies are needed before these therapeutic approaches are widely implemented. Due to the experimental nature all patients should be treated in clinical studies.It is essential to confirm the correct headache diagnosis and the refractory nature before an invasive approach is considered. Patients should generally be referred to specialized interdisciplinary outpatient departments which closely collaborate with neurosurgeons who are experienced in the implantation of neuromodulatory devices. It is crucial to ensure a competent postoperative follow-up with optimization of stimulation parameters and adjustment of medication.
PMID: 20972665 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher

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