Behavioral Treatment for Migraine Headaches

A recently study titled Direct Costs of Preventive Headache Treatments: Comparison of Behavioral and Pharmacologic Approaches appearing in Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 51 (6): 985 -991, June 2011, and written by Allison M. Shafer et al., finds that treating chronic migraines using inexpensive prophylactic medicines such as beta-blockers or tricyclic antidepressants and behavioral approaches such as relaxation training, biofeedback, cognitive behavioral therapy, and stress management are a low cost and effective treatment option particularly after 1 year of treatment. The authors used a cost minimization analysis and found that after 1 year, the cost of minimal-contact behavioral treatment was cheaper than the least expensive headache treatment medications. Minimal-contact or home based intervention is when a patient sees a therapist for around 3 or 4 visits and  largely practices the behavioral techniques at home through the use of … Read more

Darvon and Darvocet banned in U.S.

I find it interesting to hear that the drug commonly known as Darvocet and also similarly Darvon has been banned in the U.S. as of November 19, 2010. The formal name of the drug is Dextropropoxyphene and is in the opiod category of drugs. If you know someone who wants to help a drug addicted friend or loved one, refer them to this website so they can see what they can do to help. This ban came by the FDA in response to research that suggests the drug Darvocet can lead to heart problems such as heart arrythmias. The drug is also known to be addictive and is associated with some deaths. It is commonly prescribed in the treatment of pain. I personally was prescribed darovcet in 2008 in an attempt to treat my chronic 24/7 headache caused by the … Read more

Childhood Experiences Impact Headache Frequency and Cardiovascular Disease

Recent research by Gretchen E. Tietjen, MD, of the University of Toledo College Of Medicine, and her colleagues have shown that childhood experiences have an impact on headache frequency and cardiovascular disease experienced once these children reach adulthood. Specifically Dr Tietjan and her researchers found children who experience maltreatment such as physical abuse, emotional and/or sexual abuse, and/or physical and/or emotional neglect, are more likely to experience frequent headaches as adults. In another study, Dr Tietjan and her researchers found that if migraine suffers’ experienced adverse experiences (as previously mentioned) as children than they were more likely to experience cardiovascular health problems as adults. “It is clear…that early adverse experiences influence a migraine sufferers’ cardiovascular health in adulthood,” said Dr. Tietjen. “Earlier studies have linked childhood maltreatment to frequent headaches and migraine,” said David Dodick, M.D., president of the AHS. … Read more

Sleep Deprivation and the Biological Mechanisms of Chronic Migraine Headache

Scientists from the Missouri State University’s Center for Biomedical & Life Sciences have found new research to suggest sleep deprivation leads to changes in the levels of key proteins that facilitate events involved in the underlying pathology of migraine. “Previous clinical data support a relationship between sleep quality and migraine,” said Paul L. Dunham, Ph.D. “so we used an established model of sleep deprivation to measure levels of proteins that lower the activation threshold of peripheral and central nerves involved in pain transmission during migraine. We found that REM sleep deprivation caused increased expression of the proteins p38, PKA, and P2X3, which are known to play an important role in initiating and sustaining chronic pain.” “So little is known about the biological mechanisms that underlie how certain factors trigger a migraine attack,” said David Dodick, M.D., “This is important work … Read more

TV and Computer Viewing Leads to Physical Pain

A new  study looking at computer monitor and TV screen viewing has findings I don’t find particularly shocking or surprising by any means. Over 30,000 Nordic teenagers were used in a study published in the  journal BMC Public Health. Torbjørn Torsheim, from the University of Bergen, Norway, and his researchers found that TV viewing, computer use and computer gaming (screen time) were consistently associated with recurrent headaches and back pain. Torbjørn Torsheim said, “A rising prevalence of physical complaints such as back pain, neck and shoulder pain, and headache has been reported for adolescent populations. Parallel to this, adolescents are spending an increasing amount of time on screen-based activities, such as TV, computer games, or other types of computer based entertainment.” The study found  little interaction between the type of activity performed while viewing the computer and TV and the … Read more