By changing the body’s molecules using a small inhaler, scientists have discovered that treating migraines without medication is a possibility.
Patients suffering from migraines can either lower their use of medication or cut it out completely by slightly changing the molecules of their body using a small inhaler. The study suggests a new and innovate way of treating migraines and opens up an entire new world of neurology.
Occurrence of migraines
The discovery was published in the scientific journal, Cephalalgia.
One of the authors, Troels Johansen, MSc in Engineering and PhD, 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.
Johansen explains that 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. The inhaler has been designed to ease the flow of oxygen to the brain, essentially reducing the occurrence of pain and treating migraine.
“We 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 seventy per cent and thereby stops the destructive chain reaction.”
He adds that the effect of the treatment starts after a few seconds.
Migraine with aura
When an individual experience either sensory or visual disturbances before a headache begins, this is known as migraine with aura. Patients who suffer from this were examined in the study,
From the study, researchers found that the effect of the pain relief increased significantly with each use of the inhaler. 45% experienced an effect the first time, and that number rose to 78% the second time.
Johansen concludes: “The study shows some very significant physiological effects in the body.”
Treating migraines and future trials
Since the project was limited to studying migraine with aura and only comprised of less than a dozen patients, Johansen is now planning to conduct a large clinical trial that will also include patients suffering from migraine without aura and chronic migraine.
Together with a team of employees, Johansen has put the inhaler into production through the company BalancAir.