Neurostimulators for the treatment of primary headaches

Massimo Leone, Alberto Proietti Cecchini, Angelo Franzini, Gennaro Bussone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neurostimulation techniques have increased our therapeutic armamentarium, providing additional options for the treatment of patients with drug-resistant headache. Occipital nerve stimulation can be considered in drug-resistant chronic cluster headache and, with more caution, in drug-resistant chronic migraine. Approximately 12 years after its introduction, hypothalamic stimulation is a valid option for drug-resistant chronic cluster headache to be considered when occipital nerve stimulation fails. Several other peripheral stimulation approaches (in addition to occipital nerve stimulation) have been introduced in recent years; however, for the most part, appropriate studies supporting their efficacy are lacking. Transcranial magnetic stimulation, transcutaneous supraorbital nerve stimulation, sphenopalatine ganglion stimulation and vagal nerve stimulation have all been tried, but results are not wholly convincing, and more extensive evaluations are required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-467
Number of pages11
JournalFuture Neurology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


  • chronic headache
  • cluster headache
  • drug resistant
  • hypothalamus stimulation
  • migraine
  • neurostimulation
  • occipital nerve stimulation
  • sphenopalatine ganglion stimulation
  • treatment
  • vagal nerve stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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