Initial exploration of pulsing electromagnetic fields for treatment of migraine


Two studies were conducted during which 23 patients with chronic migraine were exposed to pulsing electromagnetic fields over the inner thigh. In an open study, 11 subjects kept a 2-week headache log before and after 2 to 3 weeks of exposure to pulsing electromagnetic fieldsfor 1 hour per day, 5 days per week. The number of headaches per week decreased from 4.03 during the baseline period to 0.43 during the initial 2-week follow-up period and to 0.14 during the extended follow-up which averaged 8.1 months. In a double-blind study, 9 subjects kept a 3-week log of headache activity and were randomly assigned to receive 2 weeks of real or placebo pulsing electromagnetic field exposures as described above. They were subsequently switched to 2 weeks of the other mode, after which they kept a final 3-week log. Three additional subjects in the blind study inadvertently received half-power pulsing electromagnetic field exposures. The 6 subjects exposed to the actual device first showed a change in headache activity from 3.32 per week to 0.58 per week. The 3 subjects exposed to only half the dose showed no change in headache activity. Large controlled studies should be performed to determine whether this intervention is actually effective.
Headache 1998 Mar;38(3):208-13
Sherman RA, Robson L, Marden LA.
Service of Orthopedic Surgery, Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, Wash. 98431, USA.

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