Treatment Spotlight: Drug-Free Devices

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Key Questions
  • What non-invasive neuromodulation devices have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of migraine?
  • Are neuromodulation devices safe?
  • Does insurance cover neuromodulation devices?
  • Do you need a prescription for neuromodulation devices, and if so, does it have to be from a headache specialist or can it be from a primary care provider?
  • Do these devices hurt when you use them?
  • Can they be used for both acute and preventive treatment of migraine?
  • How do I know if I’m a good candidate for a neuromodulation device?
  • Can any of these devices be used for cluster headache?
  • Are there any side effects from using these devices?
  • Are there any new devices due to be released soon?
Interview Notes

Find more about Amaal Starling, MD and his work here:


Amaal Starling, MD

Mayo Clinic, USA

Dr. Amaal J. Starling is an assistant professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. She joined Mayo in 2012 and is currently a consultant within the department of neurology. Dr. Starling received her MD from the Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. She completed a transitional year residency, a neurology residency, and a headache fellowship at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Dr. Starling is an active member of numerous migraine advocacy organizations, including the American Headache Society (AHS), the American Migraine Foundation, the American Pain Society, and the American Academy of Neurology. Annually, she is involved in events supporting migraine, including Headache on the Hill, Miles for Migraine, and the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy. Dr. Starling is currently serving as chair of the electronic media committee of the AHS and she is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Concussion Society. Dr. Starling has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the AHS Above and Beyond Award for Service, Manfred D. Muenter Award for Excellence in Clinical Neurology, the American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting Residency Scholarship, the 2012 Spirit of Mayo Clinic Award, and the Mayo Brothers Distinguished Fellowship Award.

Dr. Starling has several peer-reviewed publications and abstracts related to her fields of interest, which include migraine, concussion, post-traumatic headache, trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias, secondary headaches, telemedicine and teleconcussion, neurology resident education, and professionalism and clinical ethics. Dr. Starling’s hope is that her research and advocacy will advance care for people with migraine, post-traumatic headache and other headache disorders. She envisions a future in which all people with headache disorders receive personalized, effective, and well-tolerated treatment options to improve their quality of life.

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