Neuronavigation based 10 sessions of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy in chronic migraine: an exploratory study

Neurol Sci. 2021 Jan;42(1):131-139. doi: 10.1007/s10072-020-04505-3. Epub 2020 Jun 15.

Abstract

Introduction: Chronic migraine is a disease of altered cortical excitability. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation provides a novel non-invasive method to target the nociceptive circuits in the cortex. Motor cortex is one such potential target. In this study, we targeted the left motor cortex using fMRI-guided neuronavigation.

Materials and methods: Twenty right-handed patients were randomized into real and sham rTMS group. Baseline subjective pain assessments were done using visual analog scale (VAS) and questionnaires: State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Becks Depression Inventory, and Migraine Disability Assessment (MIDAS) questionnaire. Objectively, pain was assessed by means of thermal pain thresholds using quantitative sensory testing. For corticomotor excitability parameters, resting motor thresholds and motor-evoked potentials were mapped. For rTMS total, 600 pulses in 10 trains at 10 Hz with an intertrain interval of 60 s were delivered in each session. Ten such sessions were given 5 days per week over 2 consecutive weeks. The duration of each session was 10 min. Real rTMS was administered at 70% of Resting MT. All the tests were repeated post-intervention and after 1 month of follow-up. There are no studies reporting the use of fMRI-based TMS for targeting the motor cortex in CM patients.

Results: We observed a significant reduction in the mean VAS rating, headache frequency, and MIDAS questionnaire in real rTMS group which was maintained after 1 month of follow-up.

Conclusion: Ten sessions of fMRI-based rTMS over the left motor cortex may provide long-term pain relief in CM, but further studies are warranted to confirm our preliminary findings.

Keywords: Chronic pain; Cortical excitability; Headache; Motor cortex stimulation; Neuromodulation; Quantitative Sensory test.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Evoked Potentials, Motor
  • Humans
  • Migraine Disorders* / diagnostic imaging
  • Migraine Disorders* / therapy
  • Motor Cortex*
  • Neuronavigation
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation