‘New inhaler may help treat migraine without medicine’

LONDON: Some migraine patients can cut down on medication or stop using it completely with the help of a newly developed inhaler which changes the composition of the air we breathe, scientists claim.
Patients who suffer from migraine with aura, which is where they experience either sensory or visual disturbances before the painful headaches begin, were examined in the study published in the journal Cephalalgia.
Eleven patients participated in the pilot study, which will now be followed by a large clinical trial.
Migraines occur as part of a chain reaction during which the veins in the brain contract and the blood cannot therefore supply the brain with sufficient oxygen, researchers said.
“We utilise CO2 and oxygen, which are the body’s natural molecules for mobilising its own defence against migraine attacks,” said Troels Johansen from Aarhus University in Denmark.
“The inhaler expands the blood vessels that supply the brain with oxygen by up to seventy per cent and thereby stops the destructive chain reaction,” said Johansen, adding that the effect of the treatment starts after a few seconds.
The pilot study was carried out between 2016 and 2017 involving eleven migraine patients with aura.
One of the results was that the effect of the pain relief increased significantly with each use of the inhaler, researchers said.
Forty-five per cent experienced an effect the first time, and that number rose to 78 per cent the second time, they said.
“The study shows some very significant physiological effects in the body,” said Johansen. (AGENCIES)

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