MedicalXpress reports by slightly changing the body’s own molecules using a small inhaler, certain migraine patients can either cut down on medication or do without it completely. This is shown by a pilot study published in the scientific journal Cephalalgia.
The study examined patients who suffer from migraine with aura, in which they experience either sensory or visual disturbances before the painful headaches begin. Eleven patients participated in the pilot study, which will now be followed by a large clinical trial. One of the authors is MSc in Engineering and Ph.D. Troels Johansen, who carried out the study as part of his Ph.D. at the Department of Clinical Medicine at Aarhus University and the Headache Clinic at Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark.
He explains that migraines occur as part of a chain reaction during which the veins in the brain contract and the blood cannot therefore supply the brain with sufficient oxygen. “We utilise CO2 and oxygen, which are the body’s natural molecules for mobilizing its own defence against migraine attacks. The inhaler expands the blood vessels that supply the brain with oxygen by up to 70 percent, and thereby stops the destructive chain reaction,” says Johansen, adding that the effect of the treatment starts after a few seconds.