OBJECTIVE: To report on the benefits of noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation (nVNS) on acute vestibular migraine (VM) treatment. METHODS: This was a retrospective chart review of patients with VM treated with nVNS in a single tertiary referral center between November 2017 and January 2019. Eighteen patients (16 women) were identified (mean age 45.7 [±14.8] years); 14 were treated for a VM attack and 4 for bothersome interictal dizziness consistent with persistent perceptual postural dizziness (PPPD). Patients graded the severity of vestibular symptoms and headache using an 11-point visual analog scale (VAS; 0 = no symptoms, 10 = worst ever symptoms) before and 15 minutes after nVNS. RESULTS: In those with acute VM, vertigo improved in 13/14 (complete resolution in 2, at least 50% improvement in 5). The mean vertigo intensity before nVNS was 5.2 (±1.6; median 6), and 3.1 (±2.2; median 3) following stimulation; mean reduction in vertigo intensity was 46.9% (±31.5; median 45%). Five experienced headache with the VM attack; all reported improvement following nVNS. Mean headache severity was 6 (±1.4; median 6) prior to treatment and 2.4 (±1.5; median 3) following nVNS; mean reduction in headache intensity was 63.3% (±21.7; median 50). All 4 treated with nVNS for interictal PPPD reported no benefit. CONCLUSION: Our study provides preliminary evidence that nVNS may provide rapid relief of vertigo and headache in acute VM, and supports further randomized, sham-controlled studies into nVNS in VM. CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE: This study provides Class IV evidence that for patients with acute VM, nVNS rapidly relieves vertigo and headache.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology