New gadget to eliminate painful ‘cluster’ headaches available on the NHS

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Gadget to eliminate ‘cluster’ headaches using an electric current is now available on the NHS in a boost for thousands of patients

  • GammaCore is a device that delivers an electrical current to block pain signals
  • Cluster headaches are a relatively rare condition, but the device can prevent them
  • Between one and two in 1,000 people are affected by the rare condition

Thousands of people suffering from debilitating ‘cluster’ headaches will benefit from the rollout of a wearable gadget proven to help channel pain away.

The gammaCore, a device that delivers a low-level electrical current to the neck to block pain signals, is now available on the NHS.

Cluster headaches are a relatively rare condition that is more common in men – usually starting when the patient reaches the age of 30 or 40.

Photo issued by NHS England of the gammaCore device.  The gammaCore can be used to treat cluster headaches as well as to prevent a patient from feeling one coming on

Photo issued by NHS England of the gammaCore device. The gammaCore can be used to treat cluster headaches as well as to prevent a patient from feeling one coming on

Between one and two in 1,000 people are affected by the condition, and about one in 20 is unresponsive to traditional treatments such as painkillers or oxygen, NHS England said.

Between one and two in 1,000 people are affected by the condition, and about one in 20 is unresponsive to traditional treatments such as painkillers or oxygen, NHS England said.

Between one and two in 1,000 people are affected by the condition, and about one in 20 is unresponsive to traditional treatments such as painkillers or oxygen, NHS England said.

They are often described as a sharp burning or piercing sensation on one side of the head, with attacks lasting between 15 minutes and three hours.

Some people may experience up to eight cluster headaches per day.

The gammaCore can be used to treat cluster headaches as well as to prevent a patient from feeling one coming on.

Between one and two in 1,000 people are affected by the condition, and about one in 20 do not respond to traditional treatments such as painkillers or oxygen, NHS England said.

It is estimated that 11,000 people will benefit from the device after two years of clinical trials.

Funding for the technology comes from the Medtech Funding Mandate policy – launched in January this year – to fund medical devices for NHS patients.

Stephen Powis, NHS medical director, said: ‘While they may be small, these devices will make a huge difference to those suffering from these debilitating headaches – they relieve painfully

symptoms and allow people to continue their daily life normally. ‘

The gammaCore is one of a number of technologies being rolled out as part of the NHS Long Term Plan, which sets out health service priorities and strategies for the next 10 years.

The gammaCore is one of a number of technologies being rolled out as part of the NHS Long Term Plan, which sets out health service priorities and strategies for the next 10 years.

The gammaCore is one of a number of technologies being rolled out as part of the NHS Long Term Plan, which sets out health service priorities and strategies for the next 10 years.

He added, “This is the latest example of the NHS testing the latest technology and rolling it out at high speed for patients across the country.”

Matthew Whitty, Director of Innovation and Life Sciences for NHS England, said, “The Gammacore device will provide life-changing benefits for thousands of people and is just one of many technologies mandated by the NHS.”

The gammaCore is one of many technologies being rolled out as part of the NHS Long Term Plan, which sets out health service priorities and strategies for the next 10 years.

Lord Bethell, Minister of Innovation, said: “It is hugely encouraging to see innovative technology changing the way we treat disease in the NHS.

“This new gammaCore device will bring relief to many who suffer from cluster headaches and is one of many innovative treatments available to patients on the NHS.”

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