Nurses may soon be able to offer hope to millions of migraine sufferers who are unaffected by current treatments.
A new hand-held device, which delivers a magnetic pulse to the back of the head, has been developed by American medical technology company eNeura Therapeutics.
The single pulse Spring Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) was tested on patients in a clinical trial.
Around 73% of migraine sufferers prescribed the device by British headache specialists experienced reduced or alleviated pain, while symptoms were improved in 63% of patients, or for some did not develop.
And more than half of those tested saw the number of headache days decline. The results are being discussed at the European Headache and Migraine Trust International Congress in London.
The results will be welcomed by migraine sufferers who don’t respond to traditional treatments, have side effects, or cannot take tablets or pills because they are unsafe to use alongside other medication.
One patient who took part in the trials, Andy Bloor, said: “I suffer from chronic migraines.
Put simply, for me the TMS device worked. “The key for me was using the device quickly - as soon as the migraine started. When I did, often on first use and always on subsequent uses, it stopped the migraine in its tracks.”
Professor Peter Goadsby, the congress joint chair and a neurologist, said: “For the many migraine sufferers whose medicines just do not do the job, it is exciting to see such an innovative, novel approach to treatment that provides new optimism.”