Rats Help Migraine Patients

When Michael Oshinsky, Ph.D., gives his rats a headache, he has good reason. The animals are helping Dr. Oshinsky, assistant professor of neurology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, study how migraine treatments work. In recent experiments, the animals provided evidence showing that DHE, a standard drug currently used to treat acute migraine pain can also work against the onset of a phenomenon called “central sensitization,” or “allodynia,” which involves, as most migraine sufferers know, a heightened sensitivity to touch.For many migraine sufferers, it hurts to touch their face, brush their hair, even take a shower during a migraine attack. Triptans, another class of drugs commonly used to treat migraines, can also treat acute headache pain, but has a narrow window in which it works against allodynia. Dr. Oshinsky looked at DHE’s effectiveness on halting or […]

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Zapping the Pain out of Migraine

An electronic device designed to “zap” away migraine pain before it starts may be the next form of relief for millions of people who suffer from the debilitating disease. Results of a study found that the experimental device appears to be effective in eliminating the headache when administered during the onset of the migraine. The device, called TMS, interrupts the aura phase of the migraine, often described as electrical storms in the brain, before they lead to headaches. Auras are neural disturbances that signal the onset of migraine headaches. People who suffer from migraine headaches often describe “seeing” showers of shooting stars, zigzagging lines and flashing lights, and experiencing loss of vision, weakness, tingling or confusion. What typically follows these initial symptoms is intense throbbing head pain, nausea and vomiting. Yousef Mohammad, a neurologist at OSU Medical Center who presented […]

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Visit to the Internist

I went to visit a new internist last Friday. My current internist was a nice guy but he didn’t return phone calls for a while and that frustrated me. So I decided to go see a new internist. I went to see him with the intent of talking about my chest pain with exertion and borderline high blood pressure that I have been experiencing in recent months. Upon arriving their I filled out the necessary paperwork and sat down. Next, I heard some commotion behind the door and heard that some one had passed out.  An old man passed out and was laying on the floor. Eventually, an ambulance was called and came to take him to the ER. I never found out what happened to him. Eventually, I went back and met the doctor. He seemed like a good […]

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Therapeutic Benefits of Laughter

I am currently reading Positive Words, Powerful Results by Hal Urban. Thus far I have enjoyed the book as it discusses simple ways to honor, affirm, and celebrate life. There is a small discussion on Norman Cousins and how he used laughter and positive thinking to cure himself of a deadly disease. He went on to be the first person not having an M.D. to teach medicine and wrote about his experience in Anatomny of Illness. Many in the medical field have proved his findings offering a list of the therapeutic benefits of laughter. It activates and strengthens the immune sytem. It reduces at least four hormones associated with stress It’s aerobic. It provides a “workout” for the diaphragm and increases the body’s ability to use oxygen. It relaxes the muscles. It can significantly reduce pain for long periods. It […]

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National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week

September 10th to September 16 of 2007 is the National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week. It is a worldwide effort to bring people together who live with invisible chronic illnesses and those who love them. Organizations are encouraged to educate the general public, churches, health care professionals and government officials about the impact of living with a chronic illness that is not visually apparent. Rest Ministries the sponsor of the week offers these statistics. 1 in 2 Americans (133 million) has a chronic condition 96% of them live with an illness that is invisible. These people do not use a cane or any assistive device and may look perfectly healthy. Sixty percent are between the ages of 18 and 64 The divorce rate among the chronically ill is over 75% Depression is 15-20% higher for the chronically ill than for […]

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