• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 11s

New medical device helps alleviate chronic migraines

By Lori Tipton 3:44 PM December 12, 2013

"Nerve pacemaker" allows people to monitor their pain

ANCHORAGE – Thirty-six million Americans suffer from migraine headaches . If you’ve ever had one, you know how debilitating they can be. Now, a new device that fits in the palm of your hand can take away the pain.

Megan Doscher has long suffered from chronic migraines, sometimes experiencing two a day.

“It feels like somebody was in my head with drums,” Doscher said.

She recently underwent surgery to receive an occipital nerve stimulator — it’s essentially a nerve packmaker.

Dr. Brian Snyder, a neurosurgeon, implanted two electrodes at the base of Megan’s skull, near the occipital nerve. Wires are placed on either side of the skull.

Those wires attach to a pacemaker just under the skin in Megan’s chest. She uses a remote-controlled device that can increase or decrease the amount of electrical impulses being sent to the nerves in her brain. The more pain, the higher the electrical impulses.

“I just stick it in my purse and I carry it around with me everywhere I go,” Doscher said.

Since receiving the occipital nerve stimulator, Megan has one migraine every two weeks.

“I’m able to have a life now,” she said.

The main risks of the surgery are bleeding, infection and hardware-related minor complications, Snyder said. The surgery is done in two parts — trial and permanent — so the patients who don’t benefit from the trial don’t have the surgery to implant the device.

Latest Stories

  • Crime

    Mother of Pt. Woronzof murder victim calls on public for answers in daughter’s death

    by Eric Ruble on Jun 30, 20:21

    The last five months have been painful for Rose Mullenax. She is the mother of Selena Mullenax, who was killed alongside 20-year-old Foreignne “Onie” Aubert-Morisette in January at Point Woronzof. No arrests have been made in the case and now, the 19-year-old’s mother has become frustrated with police. “All I know is that they’re working on […]

  • News

    Southcentral Alaska Fourth of July festivities

    by Makayla Clark on Jun 30, 20:03

    ANCHORAGE Fireworks When: July 4, after the Alaska Baseball League doubleheader Location: Mulcahy Stadium Alaska Baseball League doubleheader When: July 4, 7 and 9 p.m. Location: Mulcahy Stadium Two games between the Anchorage Glacier Pilots and the Anchorage Bucs There will be fireworks after the second game July 4 Anchorage events at the Delaney Park Strip 8 a.m. — […]

  • Lifestyle

    Peony passion: Alaska expected to ship out a record number of luxury flowers

    by Shannon Ballard on Jun 30, 19:34

    Whether they’re miles apart or side-by-side, sisters Rachel Christy and Becca Bryan are connected by peonies. Bryan lives in Texas, but for the past five summers she’s come to Alaska to help Christy harvest Alaska Blooms Peony Farm in Wasilla. “My favorite thing to do is, when we first arrive for our summer, Rachel and […]

  • On-Air

    Alaska Fishing Report for June 30, 2016

    by Carlos Faura on Jun 30, 19:23

    Anchorage King fishing is fair on Ship Creek. Lake fishing is ok, the mornings and evenings are best times to go. Bird Creek is closed until July 13. Seward Halibut fishing is good and they’re getting a lot of big fish. Rockfishing is really good. There are not a lot of silvers yet. King salmon […]

  • News

    APD to patrol part of the Seward Highway for the holiday weekend

    by Lauren Maxwell on Jun 30, 19:09

    Alaska State Troopers are getting some extra help patrolling the Seward Highway over the Fourth of July holiday weekend. A federal grant will pay for two to four Anchorage police officers to patrol the section of highway that runs between Potter Marsh and Girdwood. Anchorage Police Department chief Chris Tolley said the goal is to […]

  • News

    UN body creates post on sexual orientation, gender identity

    by Associated Press on Jun 30, 16:42

    GENEVA (AP) – The U.N.’s top human rights body has decided to appoint an expert to monitor violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In a narrow 23-18 vote with six abstentions, the Human Rights Council called for the creation of a three-year position for an independent expert to look into wrongdoing […]

  • On-Air

    Reality Check w/ John Tracy: Can the US learn from Brexit?

    by John Tracy on Jun 30, 15:32

    Voters in Britain are now reacting to their decision to divorce the European Union much like one does the morning after a bender. Similar to a hangover, they’re now coming to grips with the aftermath of a decision that felt good at the time, but resulted in a massive global headache. Unfortunately, the financial impact […]

  • DayBreak

    Founding member of War talks 4th of July performances in Seward

    by Daybreak Staff on Jun 30, 15:10

    A familiar sound is coming to Alaska this July 4 weekend. The band War will be in Seward Friday, July 1 through Sunday, July 3 performing popular hits like “Why Can’t We be Friends” and “Cisco Kid,” plus songs from their current album “Evolutionary.” Thursday, founding member Lonnie Jordan joined Daybreak. He said this weekend’s […]