The Journal of Headache and Pain

Official Journal of the "European Headache Federation" and of "Lifting The Burden - The Global Campaign against Headache"

The Journal of Headache and Pain Cover Image
Open Access

Transcranial magnetic stimulation for migraine: clinical effects

  • B. M. Clarke1, 2Email author,
  • A. R. M. Upton1,
  • M. V. Kamath1,
  • T. Al-Harbi1 and
  • C. M. Castellanos1
The Journal of Headache and Pain20067:329

Received: 25 April 2006

Accepted: 26 June 2006

Published: 25 October 2006


The objective was to assess the impact of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) on pain and the autonomic nervous system (ANS) in migraine. Fortytwo people [mean age 41.43±11.69 (SD) years, 36 females] were randomised into high vs. low TMS stimulation groups and received 2 brief pulses of TMS. Thirty-three (33/42) individuals had heart-rate variability assessed, before and after stimulation. No group effects were found. Pain decreased by 75%; 32% of people after 1 treatment reported no headache after 24 h. Mean heart rate decreased from 79.05±10.27 to 72.89±11.35 beats/min. The low-frequency (LF) and the high-frequency (HF) areas derived from power spectral analyses increased [mean 6522±1277 to 8315±1009 beats/min2 (LF) (p=0.001) and mean 5600±1568 to 8755±3071 beats/min2 (HF) (p=0.001)]. The LF:HF ratio decreased from mean 1.31±0.51 to 1.13±0.48 (NS). TMS produces immediate, sustained reductions in pain and modification of the ANS.

Key words

MigraineTranscranial magnetic stimulationPain


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.