AZ Delta Hospital in Rosselare has successfully treated its first patients with an ultra-thin implant to treat severe migraines. This is the second time worldwide and the first time in Europe that the bionic chip, developed by Dutch startup Salvia Bioelectronics, has been implanted. Dr. Bart Billet, a pain specialist at AZ Delta who performed the procedures with his colleagues, emphasizes the new hope and opportunities this implant provides for people with migraines.
- After the first clinical treatments in Australia, European patients received salvia transplants.
- Biochips could be a solution to migraines.
“I felt like my migraines improved immediately. “I can sleep, laugh and enjoy life to the fullest again,” says one patient. The 35-year-old is so happy with the small portable device that comes with it, she even designed a unique bag for it. “I call it my little bag of happiness.”
Migraines affect one in seven people. More than five percent of people with migraines experience chronic migraines, with an average of eight or more migraine days per month. Although modern drug treatments may benefit a wide range of patients, many people with migraines are in desperate need of effective treatment.
Plant a thin sheet
Salvia BioElectronics was founded in 2017 with a clear goal: to give people who suffer from migraines and cluster headaches their lives back. The company is focused on developing flexible bioelectronic chips that provide a promising neuromodulation solution for headaches. “We are restoring balance to the brain,” says Dr. Wim Polite, chief medical officer at Salvia Bioelectronics.
The first patients in Belgium were treated at AZ Delta in the province of West Flanders. The hospital’s Pain Center includes a large multidisciplinary team of pain specialists, nurses, physical therapists, social workers, psychologists and others. The patients were treated by Dr. Bart Billett, an innovative pain specialist at AZ Delta, and his colleagues. “We have implanted paper-thin chips under the surface of the skin. We can calm the nerves using mild electrical pulses and prevent and relieve migraines. This is a promising technology to help people with severe headaches.”
However, it is important to note that clinical trials have only just begun. More research is needed to fully understand the safety and effectiveness of salvia.