Speaker 1: The following program is sponsored
by Reed Migraine Center and features medical questions from viewers. Nothing within the
program establishes doctor/patient confidentiality. Mike Burger: Hello and welcome to Ask The
Doctor. I am your host, Mike Burger. Joining us today is Dr. Kenneth Reed from Reed Migraine
Centers to discuss the revolutionary procedure used to alleviate migraine. Dr. Reed is the
founder of the revolutionary Reed procedure, used specifically for treatment of chronic
severe headaches. We are also will be taking your calls and e-mail questions. The number
is 1-855-5MIGRAINE or log on to the website at www.reedmigraine.com.
Dr. Reed, thanks for being here. Tell us a little bit about the neurostimulation and
the Reed migraine. This is really fascinating. I know people who have had migraines. Most
of our viewers know those people and this sounds pretty impressive.
Dr. Reed: I think it is. For patients that respond to this, it can be dramatic. It can
change their life. Neurostimulation has actually been used for quite a while for pain in the
neck and back, called the spinal cord stimulator. These have been implanted around the world,
numerous specialists in DFW area have been doing it since 1960s, hundreds of thousands
of patients, for chronic neck and back pain. What we did is used the same technology, but
applied it for headaches initially in the back of the head in 1990s, where we had a
series of patients, we reported in the medical literature, excellent results. It is called
occipital nerve stimulation. That procedure is actually done around the
world now for pain in the back of the head. We found it didn’t work as well for migraine
headaches, more commonly pain in the front and side of the head, so about six years ago,
we extended this technique, added in a frontal component and now we’ve seen an excellent
response rate with indeed dramatic responses with most of our patients for this.
Mike Burger: That sounds fabulous. Can you tell us little bit about the micro stimulator
and actually how it works. Is that like a little battery somewhere?
Dr. Reed: Exactly so. I think we have a graphic, if we can put it up. A neurostimulator, the
device, it’s made by three large companies in the United States, all excellent equipment.
It consists of a small battery very similar to pacemaker battery. In fact, the companies
make these in three long wires, plastic-covered wires. The battery is actually typically implanted
in the upper outer hip and there are reasons for that. It is very simple to pass these
little wires up under the skin, two of them end them in the back of the head, right under
the skin what we call the occipital nerves, and two pass over the front just right in
the eyebrows. You cannot see it. There are no scars. You
can’t even tell it is there. It is actually a very safe procedure. When it is turned on,
the patient will feel just a mild tingling sensation, tends to feel very good, by certain
mechanisms that will opt and dramatically ease the patient’s pain.
Mike Burger: I have to ask you, and I am thinking about football players or anybody that plays
sports. Any chance that these wires would break or … ?
Dr. Reed: Another good question. We implant these in a lot of athletes. We have 30 teenagers
so far, cheerleaders, gymnasts, water skiers, snow skiers, baseball player, haven’t had
a football player yet, but we could absolutely put them in football players. There are no
restrictions. It is very safe. It is medical equipment. It could move or something, but
even then, it is very safe and we could replace it back there, but it has been very successful
in our very active young patients. Mike Burger: How many types of neurostimulators
are being used? Dr. Reed: If you look on the Internet, there
is actually a lot of types and can be easily confused. For our purposes, we describe four
different main types of neurostimulators. The most common one is what I mentioned earlier.
It has been used around the world for neck and back pain and that’s called the spinal
cord stimulator. By the way, the equipment is the same for them all, a little battery
and these wires. The battery in the hip for spinal cord stimulation, it passes the neck
and back, tingles will ease neck and back pain.
Mike Burger: It sounds to me like what you are saying is we are actually stimulating
nerves. Dr. Reed: Yes, exactly what we are stimulating,
under the skin. For the front of the head, it is called supraorbital stimulator, the
back, occipital. That’s what we term a Reed procedure. What it is doing is stimulating
these very superficial nerves, not the brain, just right into the skin, the nerves. The
patient feels a very mild tingling sensation, but by certain mechanisms it looks like it
is actually not covering up the pain, but actually working deep in the brain to actually
stop the headaches from occurring in the first place.
Mike Burger: Of course once these are implanted, you can’t see them. No one else can see them.
Dr. Reed: It is very interesting, completely under the skin and there are no scars visible.
There are no lumps. Patients go out in swim suits. Nobody can tell that have them in.
There are no restrictions. The patient can’t feel it. Patients tend to get along with these
quite well. Mike Burger: You mentioned the Reed procedure
and you actually started doing this for migraine headaches sometime ago, but the Reed procedure
is a little addition to what a lot of people were doing.
Dr. Reed: Exactly so. It’s what we term … the technical name for it is combined occipital
nerve supraorbital nerve stimulator. We were the first to apply them in the back of the
head, occipital nerve stimulator, in the 1990s. That’s used around the world now, but about
six years ago, we added in the two leads in the front, that combined system we called
Reed procedure for migraine headaches and that’s the one we are using in most cases.
Mike Burger: The phone lines are open and we want to get started. Let’s go right to
Robin from Addison. Robin, what’s your question? Robin: The neurostimulator, it sound so futuristic,
Star Trek. Will there be a time when migraines will just be history?
Dr. Reed: It is a great question. I think the way to look at this is this tends to be
an extremely good, often dramatic life-changing treatment for patients that respond, but I
emphasize, it is not a cure. The headaches are not gone. This is stopping them. I think
it is probably the next best thing. Like a lot of things in medicine, we can treat it.
Treat it in this case, I think, very effectively, but like high blood pressure, heart disease,
it is not a cure. It is an excellent treatment for it.
Mike Burger: We really don’t know what causes migraines, do we?
Dr. Reed: We don’t know the full mechanisms. There have been a lot of things, there is
a lot of excellent research being done. International research, there are several medical journals
that this is published in several times of year, our research has been published in those,
by the way, it is easily accessible on the Internet. The research is down to fine neurochemical
mechanisms, neurophysiology of the brain. We have excellent imaging studies. We have
a lot of information on how migraines work [inaudible 00:07:20], but still not the final
answer. Mike Burger: One of these days, we might come
up with that answer. Dr. Reed: Absolutely, that’s the goal. That’s
the holy grail. Mike Burger: We are going to take a short
break, we will be right back. This is an interesting show. Stay with us.