ATI Neurostimulation System demonstrates clinical effectiveness in treating cluster headache

Published on February 5, 2013 at 4:53 AM · No Comments

Autonomic Technologies, Inc. (ATI), the developer of the ATI Neurostimulation System designed for the treatment of severe headaches, today announced results of their clinical study in cluster headache, now published online in Cephalalgia. The robust, multi-centre, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical study is the largest study performed with a medical device for cluster headache.

The ATI Neurostimulation System includes a novel, miniaturized device that is implanted using oral surgery, leaving no externally visible scars. When the patient feels a cluster attack beginning, they hold a remote controller up to their cheek to begin the neurostimulation therapy.

The study showed that the ATI Neurostimulation System demonstrated clinical effectiveness in treating cluster headache, and provided significant improvement in patient quality of life and headache disability. The results were statistically significant:

  • Pain relief at 15 minutes was achieved in 67.1% of treated attacks compared to 7.4% of sham treated attacks (p<0.0001)
  • Pain freedom at 15 minutes was achieved in 34.1% of treated attacks compared to 1.5% of sham treated attacks (p<0.0001)
  • The average number of cluster attacks per week was reduced by 31% (p=0.005), and 43% of patients experienced an average reduction of 88% in the number of attacks suffered
  • 64% of patients experienced clinically significant improvement in headache disability (HIT-6)
  • 75% of patients experienced clinically significant improvements in quality of life (SF-36v2 physical and/or mental component scores)
  • Acute rescue medications were used in only 31.0% of treated attacks compared to 77.4% of sham treated attacks (p<0.0001), a reduction of 60%
  • The ATI Neurostimulation System was well tolerated, and side effects were comparable to other similar surgical procedures and tended to be transient

Cluster headache is one of the most painful types of headache. Patients may experience multiple attacks daily or almost daily, associated with excruciating pain typically in the area of one eye. Each attack can last between 15 minutes and three hours.1 Often called 'suicide headaches' because of their severity, it is estimated that over 600,000 people across Europe suffer from cluster headaches.

"Cluster headaches cause so much disability that patients are often unable to function normally," said Prof. Dr. Jean Schoenen, Full Professor of Functional Neuroanatomy and coordinator of the Headache Research Unit at University of Liege in Liege, Belgium. "Current preventive treatments are often ineffective, and in many patients acute and preventive treatments may not be tolerated or are contraindicated. This new and innovative therapy offers a way for a significant number of patients to control the debilitating pain of cluster headache."

The ATI Neurostimulation System is a novel, rechargeable system, with an implantable neurostimulator that is smaller than an almond. Designed for the treatment of severe headache, the neurostimulator is activated using an external remote controller (similar in size to a smart phone), allowing patients to deliver as-needed stimulation to relieve the attack. After a headache is treated, the remote controller is simply moved away from the cheek, turning off stimulation therapy.

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