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Migraine Remission: Is It Possible?

October 08, 2020

When you’re experiencing a migraine attack, your sincerest wish is for it to just go away — forever. But is that wish even possible? Can migraine be cured permanently?

Medical professionals are careful to say that no, there is no cure for migraine. Because it’s a complex neurological condition, there’s no single medication or treatment that’s guaranteed to cure it forever. However, migraine remission — partial or full — can occur. 

What Does Migraine Remission Mean?

“Remission,” in general, means that the symptoms of a condition have decreased or disappeared entirely. It doesn’t mean that the condition itself has disappeared.

According to WebMD, partial migraine remission means someone with chronic migraine begins to see a significant decrease in the frequency of attacks (decrease below 15 headache days per month). So if you typically experience more than 15 headaches per month and then drop to 8 per month, your chronic migraine may have gone into partial remission. Full migraine remission means going an entire year without an attack.   

How Common Is Migraine Remission?

For some people, migraine attacks lessen in severity and/or frequency with age. But it’s not very comforting to tell someone with migraine that they might stop experiencing attacks decades from now! How does someone know whether they specifically are likely to experience migraine remission?

A review article by WebMD suggests a few factors may be associated with a greater likelihood of remission.

  • Age: After the age of 40, the frequency of migraine attacks often decreases.
  • Gender: Men are more likely to experience migraine remission.
  • Touch sensitivity: If you don’t experience extreme sensitivity to touch during an attack (allodynia), you may be more likely to go into remission.
  • Having fewer headache days per month: People with chronic migraine are more likely to experience partial remission if they have less frequent attacks to start with (15 per month vs. 20, for example).

How to Reduce the Frequency of Migraine Attacks

Because migraine remission may not be possible for everyone, a more achievable goal for treatment is to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks. That’s what CEFALY DUAL’s PREVENT program can do.

With compliant daily use, the 20-minute PREVENT program gradually desensitizes the Trigeminal nerve, which is heavily involved in the sensation and relay of migraine headache pain. CEFALY DUAL is clinically proven to help prevent migraine attacks: In one study, 38.1% of compliant patients who used CEFALY DUAL’s PREVENT treatment saw at least a 50% reduction in the number of migraine days.[ii] 

When an attack occurs, the pain and intensity can be lessened by using CEFALY DUAL’s ACUTE program. This 60-minute program, to be used at the first sign of a migraine attack, is clinically proven to reduce migraine pain intensity. In one study, 79% of acute migraine sufferers saw pain relief after using the ACUTE program, and 32% reported pain freedom.[iii]

Other approaches to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks may include medication, dietary changes, supplements, and avoidance of triggers.

Find out how to practice good headache hygiene

Learn more about how CEFALY can treat and prevent migraine attacks

 

[i] A 40-year follow-up of school children with migraine. B. Bille. Cephalalgia June 1997, 17(4):488-91; discussion 487. DOI: 10.1046/j.1468-2982.1997.1704488.x. 

(https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9209767/)

[ii] PREMICE STUDY Migraine prevention with a supraorbital transcutaneous stimulator. A randomized controlled trial. Jean Schoenen, Bart Vandersmissen, Sandrine Jeangette, Luc Herroelen, Michel Vandenheede, Pascale Gerard, Delphine Magis. Neurology Feb 2013, 80 (8) 697-704; DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182825055 (https://n.neurology.org/content/80/8/697.abstract?sid=1040bd5b-c994-4d64-8f68-2217a1749b6c)

[iii] Acute migraine therapy with external trigeminal neurostimulation (ACME): A randomized controlled trial. Chou D. E. et al. Cephalalgia. 2019; 39(1): 3-14. (https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0333102418811573)

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