Can a Rebreathing Device Treat Migraine With Aura?

Alan R. Jacobs, MD


February 04, 2019

This is the Medscape Neurology Minute. I'm Dr Alan Jacobs.

Researchers from Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark have published a pilot study employing a nonpharmacologic rebreathing device for the treatment of migraine with aura by inducing normoxic hypercapnia. They used a double-blind, randomized, crossover design in which 11 adult patients suffering from migraine with aura self-administered either the rebreathing device or a sham device for 20 minutes following the onset of aura.

The results showed that the number of painful attacks relieved by 2 hours and overall patient satisfaction were both significantly improved. Moreover, the efficacy of the device increased significantly between first and second uses. The procedure was largely free of side effects.

The authors concluded that normoxic hypercapnia is a promising, alternative, abortive treatment for migraine with aura, and they plan to conduct a larger clinical trial that will also include migraine without aura.

This has been the Medscape Neurology Minute. I'm Dr Alan Jacobs.


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