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25th September 2012

Latest news on transcranial magnetic stimulation device

Recent news coverage about a transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) device known as SpringTMS™ Total Migraine System (such as an article in the Daily Express) has resulted in a number of enquiries to The Migraine Trust, therefore we are providing the following information here.

Research into the SpringTMS™ Total Migraine System

A portable device known as SpringTMS™ Total Migraine System has been developed by eNeura Therapeutics and is being investigated for potential use in the treatment and prevention of migraine.  The hand-held device sends two brief magnetic pulses to the brain at the press of a button.  Data was presented at the recent European Headache and Migraine Trust International Congress (EHMTIC) 2012.

Dr Fayyaz Ahmed, a trustee of The Migraine Trust and chair of the British Association for the Study of Headache (BASH), said of the device:
“We think neurostimulation is the future in treating headache disorders, particularly if it is non-invasive.  A significant proportion of migraine sufferers either do not respond to or are unable to tolerate oral treatments.”

Current work involves a pilot program underway in England where the device is available through a select number of headache clinics on prescription.  The Migraine Trust understands that the following headache clinics are participating in the pilot program, and individuals wishing to visit the clinics are likely to require a referral from their general practitioner (GP):
  • Charing Cross Hospital, Fulham Palace Road, Hammersmith, London, W6 8RF.  Tel: 020 8846 1234  (Dr Mark Weatherall, Dr Richard Peatfield)
  • Royal United Hospital, Combe Park, Bath, BA1 3NG.  Tel: 01225 428 331  (Dr Nicola Giffin)
  • Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Lower Lane, Fazakerley, Liverpool, L9 7LJ.  Tel: 0151 525 3611  (Dr Nick Silver)
  • University Hospital of North Staffordshire, Princes Road, Hartshill, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 7LN.  Tel: 01782 715 444  (Dr Brendan Davies)
  • Royal Free Hospital, Pond Street, London, NW3 2QG.  Tel: 020 7794 0500  (Prof Peter Goadsby)
  • Hull Royal Infirmary, Anlaby Road, Hull, HU3 2JZ.  Tel: 01482 328 541  (Dr Fayyaz Ahmed)
  • St Thomas Health Centre, Corwick Street, Exeter, RX14 1HJ.  Tel: 01392 676 679  (Dr David Kernick)
*We recommend reading our Migraine Clinics fact sheet, which explains the role of migraine clinics in the management of migraine, how to be referred and what to expect if you visit a clinic.

The Migraine Trust will be interested to see the results of research into this device.

Please note that the SpringTMS™ Total Migraine System is not routinely available on the NHS at the present time.

Seeking medical advice to manage your migraine

If you are struggling to manage your migraine condition The Migraine Trust recommends in the first instance that you visit your GP to discuss this.  Your GP may, if appropriate, refer you to see a specialist with an interest in headache disorders.  Further information including contact details for specialist clinics can be found in our Migraine Clinics fact sheet.

It is important to remember that migraine is a complicated condition which varies widely between individuals.  What may work for one person may not for another and your migraine management plan will be individual to you.  Doctors are unable to predict how an individual will respond to a particular treatment so this means you may need to try several different treatments until one is found that is the best at controlling your condition.  Migraine is a chronic condition for which, unfortunately, there is currently no cure.

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