A Novel Treatment for Cluster Headaches?

A company known as electroCore based out of the United States has invented a device known as gammaCore that assists in treating migraines, clusters and other headaches. The device is a first of its kind non-invasive simulator available in the market.  

What are Cluster Headaches?

Cluster headaches are rare but extremely painful headaches. They are known as “suicide headaches” due to the severity of such headaches. The condition is observed in 1 or 2 among 1000 individuals. The condition usually occurs among people over the age of 30.

How does the device work?

gammaCore is handheld device that produces a mild electric signal that is transferred through the vagus nerve simulator to treat migraine and cluster headaches. Additionally, The device is the size of a mobile phone, and a gel is applied on the device, which is kept on the neck. Moreover, the device then generates a signal that is transferred through the vagus nerve simulator to the brain. 

A few tests were done on animals to measure the effectiveness of the device. It was found that the device may be sending signals to the brain. Furthermore, these signals reduce the amount of glutamate that has been associated with symptoms of headache.

What were the outcomes?

Clinical Trials found comprehensive results for gammaCore. After 15 minutes of using the device it was found that 85% of the people who used the device found a reduction in pain from a headache compared to 10.6% who used Placebo.

Furthermore, when the study was done for post 30 minutes of device usage it was found that 47.5% of the people found a reduction in pain from a headache compared to  6.2% who used Placebo.

What are the side effects?

Like any other medical equipment the device has side effects. These are seizures, cardiac side effects, and sometimes worsening of the headache. The device can be found in select countries of Europe and the US. It’s available to purchase with a Doctor’s prescription. 

See a video here on the ways to use the device