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HeadWay, Issue #183 More "Digital Therapy"
November 21, 2019

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In this issue:

Relivion: New in Neuromodulation

Biofeedback at Home

Say what?! Neuromodulation

Relivion: New in Neuromodulation

Today I'll be answering a couple of the questions that have been sent into the HeadWay MailRoom. See below for information on how to submit your own questions.

First, we're going to take a look at Relivion, thanks to a question submitted by Trish in Canada. Relivion is a neurostimulation device for migraine, which recently gained European regulatory clearance (CE mark). This explanation from the makers of Relivion:

The CE mark was granted based on data from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial which showed very high efficacy and safety for Relivion in the treatment of migraine headache. Seventy-six percent of the participants achieved headache relief after only one treatment while no serious adverse effects were observed. [source]

Neuromodulators or neurostimulators affect the nerves, in this case using electrical impulses. This is not new, it has been used in pain treatment before. There are implanted devices, and devices that are used externally.

Relivion is a step forward in neuromodulation treatment. It's an external, non-invasive device that not only affects multiple nerves using a "multichannel" approach. Connected to a smart phone, Relivion can deliver highly individualized treatment, not only to stop a migraine attack, but to treat other disorders as well.

So far, the research is looking very positive for Relivion. Hopefully development will be completed soon so that it can get into the real world.

Read more about Relivion here.

Biofeedback at Home

Fadia from Lebanon asked a question about biofeedback at home, when good professional treatment is not available.

We've talked a lot about biofeedback in the past, and the term means some different things depending on the context. Usually, for migraine, we're talking about using a device to give you feedback on your body - measuring your biology in some way. In fact, a bathroom scale could be called a "biofeedback" device, because it measures your weight.

In headache and migraine, we're more interested in things like muscle tension, skin temperature, breathing rates, pulse rates and oxygen levels.

A good all-around biofeedback device for migraine may be hard to find, but depending on your interests, there are biofeedback devices available.

For example, a simple device to measure hand temperature, one of the techniques often used by doctors to help lessen migraine symptoms ("hand warming").

Oximeters are often used to detect sleep problems connected with migraine. Sleep quality and heart rate are measured with devices such as this popular Fitbit device.

Of course, all of these presume that you have some knowledge about using biofeedback for migraine. But much information can be found online, even if you can't get to a doctor. And there are excellent techniques that don't need to cost you anything - such as PMR.

Yes, there are excellent biofeedback tools out there, and biofeedback is an excellent well-researched anti-migraine tool. But I would like to see more multifunction "tricorders" that would measure and track things that are most needed to fight migraine

Say what?! Neuromodulation

The International Neuromodulation Society defines neuromodulation this way: "Neuromodulation is technology that acts directly upon nerves. It is the alteration—or modulation—of nerve activity by delivering electrical or pharmaceutical agents directly to a target area."

Neurostimulation may deliver a drug to the target area, or an electrical pulse (as in the case of Relivion). It's used for a wide number of disorders, including migraine, epilepsy, depression, and cardiovascular disorders.

Thanks for reading!  Remember, if you have feedback or ideas for future issues, visit the HeadWay MailRoom.  Your password is nomoache.
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