Neuromodulation Devices (Non-Drug) used for Treating Migraine

Neuromodulation Devices are non-drug treatments that are non-invasive, portable and generally have few side effects. They are non-drug therapies that do not require ingesting, inhaling or injecting.


The gammaCore therapy is the first of its kind; a non-invasive vagus nerve stimulator (nVNS) that produces a mild electrical signal to treat migraine and cluster headaches. 1

In August of 2012 electroCore received a Class II Medical Device License (MDL) for the gammaCore® non-invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulator (nVNS). Per the terms of the current MDL, the gammaCore device is intended for non-invasive stimulation of the vagus nerve in the neck. gammaCore is indicated for the acute and/or prophylactic treatment of cluster headache and for the treatment of migraines in adults. 2

  • non-Drug therapy. No injecting, inhaling or ingesting
  • Flexible treatment option that can be used alone or with your existing treatments.
  • No surgery. No invasive procedure.
  • Minimal side effects.
  • Portable.

gammaCore is a hand-held, portable device, about the size of a mobile phone that generates a unique electrical signal. A conductive gel is applied to the stimulation surfaces of the device and is placed on the neck. Each dose takes approximately 2 minutes to administer (you may require more than one dose per treatment.) 3


electroCore. Inc.

The gammaCore Sapphire™ is a non-invasive vagus nerve stimulator (nVNS) in Canada, supplying therapy to patients suffering with primary headache disorders.

gammaCore Sapphire™


The vagus nerve and nVNS

We achieved a technical breakthrough in 2010 when we developed the ability to administer vagus nerve stimulation non-invasively (nVNS) by delivering a proprietary signal through the skin to either the right or the left branches of the vagus nerve in the neck.

The vagus nerve and nVNS

It is the longest cranial nerve in the body, primarily serving as a sensory nerve, bringing information from the visceral organs to the brain. The vagus nerve has a number of branching nerves that go to the heart, lungs, voice box, stomach, ears, and other organs. As a sensory nerve that assesses the condition of these organs, it is the communication between the brain and the body. It contains motor and sensory fibers and, because it passes through the neck and thorax to the abdomen, has the widest distribution in the body.


Read more about gammaCore Sapphire™.


Cefaly is the first external trigeminal neurostimulator. Cefaly works by stimulating the trigeminal nerve utilizing an electrode that is applied to the forehead. This is where the two essential branches of the trigeminal nerve (supratrochlear and supraobital) extend furthest to the surface of the skin.

Cefaly is designed and developed in accordance with the strictest quality standards eliminating all possible short-term and long-term damages.

Cefaly is an innovative, lightweight and extremely cost-effective pain-relieving solution. Its self-adhesive electrode is placed directly onto the forehead. Worn conveniently like a pair of eyeglasses, Cefaly connects to the electrode and begins its subtle treatment. For a detailed step-by-step guide on how to use Cefaly click here 4

For more information visit or read about us in MacLean's Magazine

Who is Cefaly for?

Cefaly is intended for patients who suffer from migraine with or without aura particularly when drug consumption needs to be reduced.

  • The Acute setting is indicated for the acute treatment of migraine attacks.
  • The Prevention setting is indicated for migraineurs who have frequent attacks (3 or more per month) and need a migraine prophylaxis to reduce the frequency of attacks. 5

Treatment and prevention of migraines

Cefaly offers the best safety efficacy ratio compared to current anti-migraine oral medication. It is the first line treatment for patients having frequent migraine attacks. Cefaly enables the use of medicines to be significantly reduced and the sufferer's quality of life to be markedly improved. It is the solution for most of migraineurs. Cefaly bears the CE Medical mark and is certified to the ISO Medical standard. 6

Most headaches and migraines involve the trigeminal nerve. Its superior branch ends at the exit of the eye socket, underneath the skin of the forehead.

An adhesive electrode is positioned on the forehead and Cefaly® connects to this. Through the electrode, Cefay® generates precise micro-impulses in order to stimulate the nerve endings of the trigeminal nerve. 6

Neuromodulation of the trigeminal nerve with Cefaly® produces a relaxing effect. Regular repetition of this relaxing effect helps reduce the number of attacks of headache and migraine. 6

Cefaly Dual

CEFALY Technology is pleased to announce their latest technology for the drug-free treatment of migraines, the CEFALY DUAL device, and its accessories are now available across Canada direct to consumer. Until recently, only the original CEFALY device was available to migraineurs in Canada and it was sold via a distributor. 7

CEFALY is a Breakthrough in Neurostimulation For Acute Migraine Relief and Prevention - Dr. Paul Cooper, Headache Neurologist on Nerve Stimulators

Nerve stimulators can be used at home. I believe the gammaCore device has to be ordered by a physician and purchased from the U.S. Canadian patients can purchase the Cefaly device directly from the Cefaly website.

With regard to both, one needs to follow the manufacturers instructions with regard to use.

Stimulators can be implanted into the occipital nerve and other cranial nerves for certain types of headache treatments. Whether this is indicated for your particular headache type would be determined by a neurosurgeon who does this particular type of functional neurosurgery. 8

TENS - (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)

A transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) unit is a device that sends small electrical currents to targeted body parts. These currents are used to relieve pain. Some TENS units are designed for use in a hospital or healthcare facility, while others are safe to use at home.

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation therapy is considered mostly safe. On rare occasions, an electrical current will be too intense for a patient, causing burning or irritation on the skin. 9

The effect of TENS on fetuses is unknown at this time, so pregnant women should not use electrical stimulation for pain relief. Heart patients should use caution as well.

For those that wish more information on TENS, visit TENS Canada at


  1. gammaCore - electroCore Medical LLP
  2. SeaKa Products
  3. gammaCore: What is gammaCore?
  4. Cefaly Technology
  6. Cefaly Technology
  7. Cefaly Dual
  8. Nerve Stimulators - Dr. Paul Cooper, Headache Neurologist, London, Ontario, Canada
  9. Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, TENS definition

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The book Chronic Daily Headache features
an article reviewed by a Headache Neurologist
entitled "Why Some Headache Patients do
not Improve"!