Hershey, A.D., Lin, T., Gruper, Y., Harris, D., Ironi, A., Berk, T., Szperka, C.L. and Berenson, F. (2021), Remote electrical neuromodulation for acute treatment of migraine in adolescents. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 61: 310-317. https://doi.org/10.1111/head.14042
Migraine is a common disabling neurological disorder. Current acute treatments for migraine in adolescents are mostly pharmacological and may have limited effectiveness, can cause side effects, and may lead to medication overuse. There is an unmet need for effective and well‐tolerated treatments. Remote electrical neuromodulation (REN) is a novel acute treatment of migraine that stimulates upper arm peripheral nerves to induce conditioned pain modulation (CPM)—an endogenous analgesic mechanism. The REN device (Nerivio®, Theranica Bio‐Electronics Ltd., Israel) is a FDA‐authorized device for acute treatment of migraine in adults. This study assessed the efficacy and safety of REN in adolescents with migraine.
Design and Methods
This was an open‐label, single‐arm, multicenter study in adolescents (ages 12–17 years) with migraine. Participants underwent a 4‐week run‐in phase. Eligible participants continued to an 8‐week treatment phase with the device. Pain severity, associated symptoms, and functional disability were recorded at treatment initiation, and 2 and 24 hours post‐treatment. The primary endpoints of this study were related to the safety and tolerability of REN. The secondary endpoints were related to device efficacy and included the proportion of participants who achieved pain relief at 2 hours post‐treatment and the proportion of participants who achieved pain freedom at 2 hours. The presented results reflect an interim analysis with subsequent stopping of the rest of the study.
Sixty participants were enrolled for the study; of these, 14 failed to meet the run‐in criteria and 1 was lost to follow‐up. Forty‐five participants performed at least one treatment, of which 39 participants completed a test treatment with REN. One device‐related adverse event (2%) was reported in which a temporary feeling of pain in the arm was felt. Pain relief and pain‐free at 2 hours were achieved by 71% (28/39) and 35% (14/39) participants, respectively. At 2 hours, 69% (23/33) participants experienced improvement in functional ability.
REN may offer a safe and effective non‐pharmacological alternative for acute treatment in adolescents.