Headaches after Traumatic Brain Injury Highest in Adolescents and Girls

A recent study has been conducted by the Seattle Children’s Research Institute and appeared in Pediatrics, vol 129, number 1, January 2012, pages 1 to 9, titled Headache After Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury: A Cohort Study, wirtten by Heidi K. Blume and et al. The article discusses how in the adult population 18% to 33% of those who suffer from traumatic brain injury suffer from headaches 1 year after the injury. In the child population most of the investigations conducted have been small, retrospective, lacked a control, or involved only short term follow up. Chronic headaches with children are associated with interference in social function, parental productivity, and poor quality of life. The study randomly selected 1507 patients with TBI and 495 controls with arm injury (AI) for the study. However, some patients were not reachable, others were inegligible, and … Read more

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

Surgical Treatment of Migraine Headaches

A study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery shows that trigger site surgery may aid in reducing or even eliminating migraine headaches. 100 patients in a study underwent injection of botulinum toxin A (Botox) into up to 4 potential trigger sites. If a trigger site was identified to be effective than surgery was performed in that trigger area in order to decompress nerves and remove muscles. 71 of 79 patients that were evaluated over a 5 year period were observed to have improvement. This meant they had less mean migraine intensity and or less mean migraine duration. 20 of 69 patients (29.0%) reported elimination of migraines and 41 of 69 patients (59.4%) experience a significant decrease. Surgery is not without risk and neither is injection of botulinum toxin A.  2 patients had hypersensitivity, 2 patients had hyposensitivity, and 2 patients … 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