Occipital nerve stimulation for headache: Mechanisms and efficacy

Peter J. Goadsby, Thorsten Bartsch, David W. Dodick

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Headache disorders are common problems in medicine and it is this commonness that often provides an air of the simple or obvious. Patients expect doctors understand headache; indeed doctors expect they may understand headache, and in turn since simple treatments exist and can be purchased from a supermarket, the very concept of the difficult headache problem has a pejorative connotation. A decade ago none of the authors were using device-based therapies to any substantial extent, and now hardly a week goes by when we will not see a patient who has considerable potential to benefit from such approaches. Here we cover the most promising of the device-based approaches, neurostimulation therapy using occipital nerve stimulation. Far from proven and with much work to be done, this is an exciting potential development for patients and doctors. Other device-based therapies, such as deep brain stimulation for cluster headache and patent foramen ovale closure, are covered elsewhere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-318
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2008


  • Cluster headache
  • Headache
  • Migraine
  • Occipital nerve stimulation
  • Pain modulation
  • Trigeminocervical complex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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