Some migraine patients can cut down on medication or stop using it completely by using a newly developed inhaler which changes the composition of the air we breathe. This is the result of a pilot study conducted at Aarhus University, Denmark.
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 which has been published in the scientific journal Cephalalgia.
Patients who suffer from migraine with aura, which is where they experience either sensory or visual disturbances before the painful headaches begin, have been examined in the study. Eleven patients participated in the pilot study, which will now be followed by a large clinical trial.
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 mobilising its own defence against migraine attacks. The inhaler expands the blood vessels that supply the brain with oxygen by up to seventy per cent and thereby stops the destructive chain reaction,” says Troels Johansen, adding that the effect of the treatment starts after a few seconds.