RESEARCH ON MIGRAINES
Although neurofeedback training can stop a migraine while it is occurring, stopping individual migraines is not the main goal. Training with neurofeedback can be very effective in reducing the intensity and frequency of migraines over the long term providing real relief for people suffering from migraines.
Deborah Stokes, Ph.D, a neurofeedback clinician in Alexandria, VA. recently published a study that showed significant improvement in migraines using neurofeedback. The study was co-authored with Martha S. Lappin and entitled “Neurofeedback and biofeedback with 37 migraineurs: a clinical outcome study”. The study found that, with neurofeedback, 70% of migraine sufferers have a significant reduction in the frequency of their migraines.
CASE STUDIES ON MIGRAINES
Deborah A Stokes, Martha S Lappin
Behavioral and Brain Functions 2010, 6:9
Background: Traditional peripheral biofeedback has grade A evidence for effectively treating migraines. Two newer forms of neurobiofeedback, EEG biofeedback and hemoencephalography biofeedback were combined with thermal handwarming biofeedback to treat 37 migraineurs in a clinical outpatient setting.
Methods: 37 migraine patients underwent an average of 40 neurofeedback sessions combined with thermal biofeedback in an outpatient biofeedback clinic. All patients were on at least one type of medication for migraine; preventive, abortive or rescue. Patients kept daily headache diaries a minimum of two weeks prior to treatment and throughout treatment showing symptom frequency, severity, duration and medications used. Treatments were conducted an average of three times weekly over an average span of 6 months. Headache diaries were examined after treatment and a formal interview was conducted. After an average of 14.5 months following treatment, a formal interview was conducted in order to ascertain duration of treatment effects.
Seventy-one patients with recurrent migraine headaches, aged 17-62, from one neurological practice, completed a quantitative electroencephalogram (QEEG) procedure. All QEEG results indicated an excess of high-frequency beta activity (21-30 Hz) in 1-4 cortical areas. Forty-six of the 71 patients selected neurofeedback training while the remaining 25 chose to continue on drug therapy. Neurofeedback protocols consisted of reducing 21-30 Hz activity and increasing 10 Hz activity (5 sessions for each affected site). All the patients were classified as migraine without aura.