Vestibular migraine: Advances in therapeutic search – Harvard Health Blog

About 15% of people in the world have migraines, a condition of moderate to severe headache associated with neurological disorders such as attention deficit, lightheadedness, nausea, nausea, vomiting, or dizziness. Although we now have many options for treating headaches related to migraine, we are often unable to treat other symptoms of mental illness.

One of the most common neurological symptoms that patients report is vertigo or migraine-related migraine, a condition that we call the migraine & # 39 ;, which patients feel they are, or the environment around, is changing. At present, we do not have adequate treatment for migraine & # 39; vestibular & # 39;

What is migraine & # 39; vestibular & # 39;?

Vestibular migraine & # 39; it is usually detected when vertigo occurs during migraine headaches, either shortly before or after one. It is not yet exactly known what causes migraine, but one thought is that neurological connections between sensory systems, which process headaches, and vestibular systems, which build feelings of awareness and balance, communicate can during a migraine attack.

Treatment options for migraine & # 39; vestibular & # 39; it is very limited, so current treatments are focused on reducing the frequency of migraine attacks.

Vagal nerve stimulation can alleviate migraine & # 39;

The study came out suggesting that the use of the new treatment are able to have some assurance. The treatment, called noninvasive VNS (nVNS), involves the removal of a device that holds a hand in your neck to cause you to have a small electric pulse to activate your vaginal nerves. The vagus nerve is a longitudinal sensation that flows through your brain to your neck and regulates all your organs including your heartbeat, gut activity, and mood. Electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve is used to treat both seizures and depression. And there is evidence that nVNS can effectively treat migraine headaches, as well as vertigo not related to migraine.

A recent study published in the journal Neurology tested whether nVNS can be used to treat vertigo symptoms in migraine patients. The study found that 13 of the 14 migraine patients who used nVNS reported significant improvement in the symptoms of vestibular disease that occur during migraine. The only side effect mentioned in this treatment was the low neck stiffness during the electrical pulse. These results are consistent with many previous studies showing that nVNS is safe.

It is important to note that no control group was included in this study, so it is unclear to what extent the quality improvement is due to the nVNS itself, or the combination of nVNS and the effects of & # 39; placebo & # 39 ;. However, this study provides interesting early data that nVNS may be an effective treatment for vestibular symptoms associated with migraine, and should accelerate larger randomized controlled trials in the future.

Where we are now

Because there are few treatment options available for vestibular symptoms associated with migraines, there is great excitement about the possibility of using nVNS to treat these symptoms in a safe, harmless way. Further research is needed before the nVNS can be recommended for effective treatment of migraine & # 39; vestibular migraine & # 39 ;, but its promising results and the absence of stressful effects provide new hope for migraine patients.