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Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation versus botulinum toxin injection in chronic migraine prophylaxis: a pilot randomized trial

Authors Shehata HS, Esmail EH, Abdelalim A, El-Jaafary S, Elmazny A, Sabbah A, Shalaby NM

Received 7 July 2016

Accepted for publication 9 September 2016

Published 7 October 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 771—777

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S116671

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Michael E Schatman


Hatem S Shehata, Eman H Esmail, Ahmad Abdelalim, Shaimaa El-Jaafary, Alaa Elmazny, Asmaa Sabbah, Nevin M Shalaby

Neurology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt

Background: Chronic migraine is a prevalent disabling disease, with major health-related burden and poor quality of life. Long-term use of preventive medications carries risk of side effects.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to compare repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to botulinum toxin-A (BTX-A) injection as preventive therapies for chronic migraine.
Methods: A pilot, randomized study was conducted on a small-scale sample of 29 Egyptian patients with chronic migraine, recruited from Kasr Al-Aini teaching hospital outpatient clinic and diagnosed according to ICHD-III (beta version). Patients were randomly assigned into two groups; 15 patients received BTX-A injection following the Phase III Research Evaluating Migraine Prophylaxis Therapy injection paradigm and 14 patients were subjected to 12 rTMS sessions delivered at high frequency (10 Hz) over the left motor cortex (MC, M1). All the patients were requested to have their 1-month headache calendar, and they were subjected to a baseline 25-item (beta version) Henry Ford Hospital Headache Disability Inventory (HDI), Headache Impact Test (HIT-6), and visual analogue scale assessment of headache intensity. The primary efficacy measures were headache frequency and severity; secondary measures were 25-item HDI, HIT-6, and number of acute medications. Follow-up visits were scheduled at weeks 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 after baseline visit.
Results: A reduction in all outcome measures was achieved in both the groups. However, this improvement was more sustained in the BTX-A group, and both the therapies were well tolerated.
Conclusion: BTX-A injection and rTMS have favorable efficacy and safety profiles in chronic migraineurs. rTMS is of comparable efficacy to BTX-A injection in chronic migraine therapy, but with less sustained effect.

Keywords: chronic migraine, botulinum toxin-A, rTMS, prophylaxis

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