We are conducting a trial of a very novel treatment for migraine headaches. ElectroCore is a company that developed a small hand-held device which is placed at the front of the neck during a migraine and which painlessly stimulates the vagus nerve. The idea for this device came from my study of 6 patients who had a vagus nerve stimulator implanted in the neck. The results of this study was published in 2005 in the journal Cephalalgia. All six patients had very debilitating headache which did not respond to dozens of drugs, Botox injections, nerve blocks, acupuncture and a variety of other treatments. Two of them had cluster headaches and both improved. Four had chronic migraines and two of these also improved.
Implanting a device to stimulate the vagus nerve is an invasive and expensive procedure, so having a small portable and non-invasive device offers great advantages. This device is approved in Europe and id currently in clinical trials in the US.