A small medical trial in patients with migraine with aura (characterized by temporary visual or sensory disturbances that appear shortly before or during the development of migraine headaches, such as illusion of bright flashing lights and partial blindness) showed that a small inhaler can either cut down the need of medication or even cut it off completely.

Troels Johansen, who carried out the study as part of his PhD at the Department of Clinical Medicine at Aarhus University and the Headache Clinic at Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark, explained that in migraine attacks, as part of a chain reaction, veins in the brain contract causing insufficient supply of oxygen into the brain.

Johansen explained that to stop the destructive chain reaction, they “utilise CO2 and oxygen, which are the body’s natural molecules for mobilising its own defence against migraine attacks. The inhaler expands the blood vessels that supply the brain with oxygen by up to 70%.”

The study, published in the scientific journal Cephalalgia, included eleven patients with migraine with aura. According to the results, the effect of the inhaler built up with its usage; while 45% experienced pain relief from the first time, that figure increased to 75% the second time.

After the success of this first small clinical trial, Johansen is planning to conduct a large clinical trial, not only with patients with migraine with aura, but also with patients with chronic migraine.

 

Source: Science Daily