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Papers of the Week

Papers: 21 Nov 2020 - 27 Nov 2020

Human Studies


2020 Nov 21

Brain Sci



Low Intensity, Transcranial, Alternating Current Stimulation Reduces Migraine Attack Burden in a Home Application Set-Up: A Double-Blinded, Randomized Feasibility Study.


Antal A, Bischoff R, Stephani C, Czesnik D, Klinker F, Timäus C, Chaieb L, Paulus W
Brain Sci. 2020 Nov 21; 10(11).
PMID: 33233400.


Low intensity, high-frequency transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) applied over the motor cortex decreases the amplitude of motor evoked potentials. This double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel group study aimed to test the efficacy of this method for acute management of migraines. The patients received either active (0.4 mA, 140 Hz) or sham stimulation for 15 min over the visual cortex with the number of terminated attacks two hours post-stimulation as the primary endpoint, as a home therapy option. They were advised to treat a maximum of five migraine attacks over the course of six weeks. From forty patients, twenty-five completed the study, sixteen in the active and nine in the sham group with a total of 102 treated migraine attacks. The percentage of terminated migraine attacks not requiring acute rescue medication was significantly higher in the active (21.5%) than in the sham group (0%), and the perceived pain after active stimulation was significantly less for 2-4 h post-stimulation than after sham stimulation. tACS over the visual cortex has the potential to terminate migraine attacks. Nevertheless, the high drop-out rate due to compliance problems suggests that this method is impeded by its complexity and time-consuming setup.