Engineering a MRI-Safe Device to Stop Unbearable Headache Pain

Brian Buntz

June 13, 2013

1 Min Read
Engineering a MRI-Safe Device to Stop Unbearable Headache Pain

Autonomic Technologies Cluster headaches have been nicknamed "suicide headaches" because they can be so debilitating. A company known as Autonomic Technologies Inc. (Redwood City, CA) has developed a device that could be effective against cluster headaches that can be implanted via oral surgery. The ATI Neurostimulation System consists of a neurostimulator smaller in size to that of an almond that is implanted above the second molar, where it makes contact with the sphenopalatine ganglion nerve bundle. The device works with a handheld remote controller.

The company recently announced promising clinical results from a European study, in which two thirds of the patients enrolled reported relief within 15 minutes of using the device. The company plans to test its efficacy against migraines as well.

One of the developers of the device, Ryan Powell, will share background information on the development of the device at the MD&M East conference on June 18 in Philadelphia. Powell is cited as an inventor on the patents for the device, which is also a finalist in the 2013 MDEA awards. In his talk, he will share how the inductive power source for the implant was developed, and the limitations imposed by making the device compliant with MRI. The device is currently the only neurostimulator that is CE marked with MR Conditional labeling for whole-body MRI.

Brian Buntz is the editor-in-chief of MPMN and Qmed. Follow him on Twitter at @brian_buntz

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