Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Preventing episodic migraine with caloric vestibular stimulation: a randomized controlled trial

Wilkinson, David T., Ade, Kristen, Rogers, Lesco, Attix, Deborah, Kuchibhatla, Maragatha, Slade, Martin, Smith, Lanty, Poynter, Kathryn, Laskowitz, Daniel, Freeman, Marshall, and others. (2017) Preventing episodic migraine with caloric vestibular stimulation: a randomized controlled trial. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 57 (7). pp. 1065-1087. ISSN 0017-8748. E-ISSN 1526-4610. (doi:10.1111/head.13120) (KAR id:61537)


Objective: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of a novel solid-state, caloric vestibular stimulation (CVS) device to provide adjuvant therapy for the prevention of episodic migraine in adult migraineurs. Background: Migraine causes significant disability in ~12% of the world population. No current migraine preventive treatment provides full clinical relief, and many exhibit high rates of discontinuation due to adverse events. Thus, new therapeutic options are needed. CVS may be an effective and safe adjuvant-therapy for the prevention of episodic migraine.

Methods: In a multicenter, parallel-arm, block-randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial ( NCT01899040), subjects completed a 3-month treatment with the TNMTM device for CVS (refer to Figure 2 for patient enrollment and allocation). The primary endpoint was the change in monthly migraine days from baseline to the third treatment month. Secondary endpoints were 50% responder rates, change in prescription analgesic usage and difference in total subjective headache-related pain scores. Device safety assessments included evaluation of any impact on mood, cognition or balance.

Results: Per-protocol, active-arm subjects showed immediate and steady declines in migraine frequency over the treatment period. After three months of treatment, active-arm subjects exhibited significantly fewer migraine days (-3.8 ± 0.5 from a baseline burden of 7.7 ± 0.5 migraine days). These improvements were significantly greater than those observed in control subjects (-1.1 ± 0.6 from a baseline burden = 6.9 ± 0.7 migraine days) and represented a therapeutic gain of -2.7 migraine days, CI = -0.9 to -4.7, p = 0.012. Active arm subjects also reported greater reductions in acute medication usage and monthly pain scores compared to controls. No adverse effects on mood, cognition or balance were reported. Subjects completed the trial with an average rate of 90% treatment adherence. No serious or unexpected adverse events were recorded. The rate of expected adverse events was similar across the active and the placebo groups, and evaluation confirmed that subject blinding remained intact.

Conclusion: The TNM device for CVS appears to provide a clinically efficacious and highly tolerable adjuvant therapy for the prevention of episodic migraine.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/head.13120
Uncontrolled keywords: episodic migraine, prophylactic, caloric vestibular stimulation, noninvasive neuromodulation, brainstem
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
R Medicine
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Funders: [37325] UNSPECIFIED
Depositing User: David Wilkinson
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2017 09:06 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 19:16 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Wilkinson, David T..

Creator's ORCID:
CReDIT Contributor Roles:
  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.