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Headaches

Migraines, Cluster Headaches: Remote Control Help? (Video)

One of 10 breakthroughs that will change medicine

Migraines and cluster headaches are not your average headaches. They can lead to debilitating pain (especially cluster headaches), lost work productivity and a poor quality of life.

So what if a device the size of an almond could fix them? That’s the goal of a new miniaturized implantable neurostimulator. This tiny device is implanted through a minimally invasive surgical incision in the upper gum above the second molar. Whenever a patient feels a headache coming on, a remote control device is placed on the cheek to deliver stimulation to a targeted nerve bundle. The stimulation blocks headache pain in about five to 10 minutes.

In European testing, 68 percent of patients responded positively. The FDA has granted “investigational” use of the system for cluster headaches in the U.S., and international clinical trials are under way for migraine treatment.

Innovations in healthcare

What other innovations will come?

Every year, Cleveland Clinic asks that question of more than 110 of its physicians and researchers. Read about the next innovation relating to bariatric surgery.

Tags: cluster headaches, innovation, migraine, Top 10 Innovations for 2013
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