Non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation device effective in treating cluster headaches

Clinical study published in Neurology finds electroCore’s non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation is effective in treating cluster headaches

gammaCore

A 12-month open-label study in the March issue of the journal Neurology , reports that electroCore’s non-invasive Vagus Nerve stimulation (nVNS) device, gammaCore, is practical and effective as an acute and preventative treatment in cluster headache.

79% of patients who completed the trial - 15 out of 19 - reported an overall improvement in their condition.

Cluster headache is a dreadful, extremely-painful and disabling condition that can be very complex to manage

The study into cluster headache, which is considered to be one of the most-painful conditions known to medical science, was led by Professor Peter Goadsby and was conducted at the Royal Free Hospital in London and Beaumont Hospital in Dublin.

Of the 25 patients enrolled, 19 completed the study; 11 of whom had chronic cluster headache, and eight were classified as episodic.

Seven of the chronic cluster patients were drug refractory – having previously failed to respond to at least five different preventative agents. Of all acute attacks treated, 47% were aborted within an average of 11 minutes. Ten patients reduced their acute use of high flow oxygen by 55%, with nine reducing triptan use by 48%. Preventative use of the gammaCore device resulted in a substantial reduction in estimated mean attack frequency from 4.5 attacks every 24 hours to 2.6 after treatment.

Professor Goadsby, lead author of the paper, said: “Cluster headache is a dreadful, extremely-painful and disabling condition that can be very complex to manage. Given the unmet need for effective and safe treatments, we were excited to see the outcomes in these patients of an approach offering very considerable promise for future development.”

The treatment, which is self-administered by the patient for 120 seconds at home, involves placing the small, hand-held gammaCore device on the skin of the neck over the vagus nerve. In this study, patients carried out either two or three 120-second doses of stimulation twice a day - morning and evening - while acute attacks were treated with up to six doses at the onset of the attack. Patients reported no serious adverse events.

Our many clinical trials continue to show that gammaCore is effective in helping patients prevent and treat cluster headache

JP Errico, founder and chief executive of electroCore, said: “Our many clinical trials continue to show that our hand-held vagus nerve stimulation device, gammaCore, is effective in helping patients prevent and treat cluster headache.”

gammaCore, which is presently seeking FDA approval for the treatment and prevention of cluster headache, currently has regulatory approval for the acute and/or prophylactic treatment of cluster headache, migraine and medication overuse headache in the EU, South Africa, India, New Zealand, Australia, Colombia, Brazil, Malaysia, and Canada.

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