Author(s): Teepker M, Htzel J, Timmesfeld N, Reis J, Mylius V,
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Abstract High-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) increases and low-frequency rTMS decreases neural excitability. Clinically, rTMS shows beneficial effects in the treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Furthermore, chronic and neuropathic pain has been shown to respond to rTMS treatment. A small pilot study revealed prophylactic effects of high-frequency rTMS in migraine. As there is evidence of neuronal hyperexcitability in migraine, we conducted a placebo-controlled, blinded study to evaluate the therapeutic effects of low-frequency rTMS in migraine. The primary end-point was defined as a reduction of migraine attacks compared with placebo, secondary outcomes were a reduction in the total number of days with headache, hours with headache, pain intensity and a decrease of analgesic intake for migraine. Twenty-seven migraineurs completed the study and were treated with rTMS on five consecutive days. For the verum group, two trains of 500 pulses with a frequency of 1 Hz were applied over vertex with a round coil. For the treatment of the placebo group, a figure-of-eight sham coil was used. A significant decrease of migraine attacks could be observed in the verum group. However, when comparing these effects with placebo, no significance was evident. The same was true concerning secondary outcome measures with regard to days with migraine and total hours with migraine. No effects were evident for pain intensity and use of analgesics. The rTMS treatment was tolerated well. rTMS stimulation over vertex with 1 Hz was not effective in migraine prophylaxis when compared with placebo. The positive effects regarding migraine attacks, days and total hours with migraine in the verum group are encouraging and indicate that further research on this topic is warranted.
This article was published in Cephalalgia
and referenced in Journal of Pain & Relief