Intense Migraine Pain May Soon Be A Thing Of The Past


Jathan Fink, Jadeworks Entertainment

If you suffer from migraines like I do, you likely dread the intense, debilitating pain that comes with them. But the Society of Interventional Radiology reports that a new treatment may be able to reduce the effects of these sustained headaches. 

Researchers at Albany Medical Center and the State University New York Empire State College in Saratoga Springs are using a procedure called image-guided, intranasal sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) blocks to give patients prolonged relief so lower doses of medicine are required when migraines occur.

Kenneth Mandato, M.D., the study’s lead researcher and an interventional radiologist told Science Daily that the treatments “offer a patient-centered therapy that has the potential to break the migraine cycle and quickly improve patients’ quality of life.”

During the study, 112 patients who suffer from migraines and cluster headaches were analyzed. They each had to rate their headaches from one to 10, to indicate just how severe their migraines are.

Researchers then administered the treatment, which involves inserting a spaghetti-sized catheter through the nasal passages to administer four percent lidocaine to a nerve bundle that is associated with migraines, located just behind the nose. No needles ever touch the patient and the whole procedure is minimally invasive.

This procedure “acts as a ‘reset button’ for the brain’s migraine circuitry,” noted Mandato. Once the initial numbing wears off, migraine severity appears to be reduced and some patients reported immediate relief. Because the treatment is minimally invasive, Mandato believes the SPG block can be repeated

Mandato intends to further study the result of SPG blocks and will follow up with the 112 patients to see how they react six months after treatment.

Even if this treatment isn’t a complete cure for migraines, anything that reduces their intensity is bound to become popular among those who suffer from these blinding headaches. Let’s hope it is a treatment doctors across the country will soon be able to administer with long-lasting results!


About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

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