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Heart Device Could Treat Migraines, but to What Extent?

Migraine headaches are an extremely difficult condition to live with, and treatment options are limited to taking large doses of pain medication at onset. NMT Medical of Boston has been trying to see if its implantable heart device, the StarFlex, can prevent them. Results presented yesterday at the American College of Cardiology meeting were mixed, according to the New York Times.

A trial in Great Brtain found the device could reduce the frequency and severity of migraines, but not prevent them, as investors had hoped. StarFlex is approved for treating a congenital heart defect called patent foramen ovale, or PFO, in which a flap of tissue is pushed open when a patient is under stress. The British study shows that there is probably a link between PFO and migraines. What exactly it is, and to what extent StarFlex can help, will be the subject of future studies.

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