Boston Scientific launches trial to evaluate neurostimulation for treatment of chronic migraine


Boston Scientific has launched a clinical trial to determine whether occipital nerve stimulation using the Precision system can safely and effectively treat chronic migraine when used in conjunction with anti-migraine medications. The OPTIMISE trial, a multicentre, randomised, placebo-controlled study, is expected to be used to support various regulatory approvals of this novel therapy for chronic migraine.

The first patient to undergo this procedure was treated at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Missouri, USA, by Benjamin Lampert, using the Boston Scientific Precision System, which features multiple independent current control technology.  With occipital nerve stimulation, a small programmable implanted device sends electrical impulses to the greater occipital nerve, which runs from the top of the spinal cord to the base of the scalp. Initial studies suggest that by stimulating the occipital nerve, it may be possible to mask the pain associated with chronic migraine.

“By directly targeting the occipital nerve with neurostimulation, we are potentially able to offer patients an effective and relatively low-risk therapy,” said Richard Lipton, professor of neurology and director of the Montefiore Headache Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, USA, and principal investigator for the study. “I am excited to further evaluate the clinical utility of the Boston Scientific Precision system with MICC technology as a treatment for chronic migraine.”

The Precision system for chronic migraine is investigational. It is currently available as an approved treatment in the USA, Canada, Europe and Australia as an aid in the management of chronic intractable pain of the trunk and/or limbs, including unilateral or bilateral pain associated with failed back surgery syndrome and intractable low back pain and leg pain.