Migraine symptoms can be debilitating and hard to treat. However, a team of researchers may have found a safer alternative to the usual migraine treatments. Dr. Kenneth Mandato, a radiologist from the Albany Medical Center, co-authored a study that claims that migraine symptoms can be alleviated by applying lidocaine on the nerves located in the patient’s nasal cavity. Lidocaine is a local anesthetic agent that can be applied in the nasal cavity with the help of a small catheter instead of needles. According to the research, the lidocaine application is non-invasive and that none of the patients needed sedation prior to the procedure.
Researchers conducted the study with the help of 112 patients who were exhibiting migraine symptoms. The lidocaine treatment reportedly reduced pain levels by 35 percent after only one session. The test subjects also claimed that the results remained constant over a month after the procedure.
“Migraine headaches are one of the most common, debilitating diseases in the United States, and the cost and side effects of medicine to address migraines can be overwhelming,” Dr. Mandato said.
“Intranasal sphenopalatine ganglion blocks are image-guided, targeted, breakthrough treatments. They offer a patient-centered therapy that has the potential to break the migraine cycle and quickly improve patients’ quality of life.”
Explaining how the procedure works, Dr. Mandato said, “Administration of lidocaine to the sphenopalatine ganglion acts as a ‘reset button’ for the brain’s migraine circuitry. When the initial numbing of the lidocaine wears off, the migraine trigger seems to no longer have the maximum effect that it once did. Some patients have reported immediate relief and are making fewer trips to the hospital for emergency headache medicine.”
The researchers will continue the study on more subjects while keeping track of the 112 patients that underwent the procedure six months after the first session. Dr. Mandato and his team are hoping that the lidocaine application will have more long term effects for the patients, but they assert that the procedure is safe enough that multiple lidocaine applications are possible for people who suffer from constant migraines. The results of the first study did not yield a 100 percent success rate, with 6 percent of the participants reporting that their condition showed no signs of improvement.
Migraines can be one of the most debilitating conditions anyone can experience. It can come to a point that migraine symptoms become so severe that they impair daily activities. Migraine symptoms include sensitivity to light, nausea, and blurred vision.
[Main image via migrainezone.info]