The Social Stigma of Migraine Headaches

An interesting study has been conducted by researchers at Thomas Jefferson University looking at the social stigma of migraine headaches. The study appears in PLOS ONE, January 16, 2013. The study was led by William B. Young a neurologist and he is quoted at saying “When people treat my patients as if they are to blame because they have a severe, debilitating disease, they are contributing to the problem and making life harder for them.” The researchers find that high levels of social stigma for migraine suffers is due to the impact of a chronic migraine of their work lives. Dr. Young says “I don’t think people realize that it is not unusual for people with migraine to have severe headaches every day—to be so disabled that they are unable to work. This is what causes the stigma—the fact that … Read more

Botox Injections Have Benefit for Chronic Headaches

A new review and analysis of previous studies has found that botulinum toxin A (“Botox”) injections have a small to modest benefit for those with chronic migraine headaches and chronic daily headache. Botulinum toxin A injections were first proposed as headache treatment when it was observed that patients with chronic headaches receiving cosmetic botulinum injections experienced headache improvement, prompting several case series that suggested benefit. Jeffrey L. Jackson, M.D., M.P.H., of the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues performed a review and meta-analysis to assess the association of botulinum toxin A with reducing headache frequency when used for preventive treatment of migraine, tension, or chronic daily headaches in adults. In the study, headaches were categorized as episodic (less than 15 headaches per month) or chronic (15 or more headaches per month) migraine and episodic or chronic daily or tension … Read more

Exercise Effective for Preventing Migraines

An interesting study was recently published in Cephalalgia and looked at 91 migraine patients. A third of these patients were asked to exercise for 40 minutes for 3 times a week with the supervision of a physiotherapist, another third were doing relaxation exercises, and the final third of the patients was given topiramate. The study lasted for a total of 3 months, in which the migraine status, aerobic capacity, level of physical activity, and quality of life was evaluated.  Follow ups of the study were carried out after 3 and 6 months. The randomized controlled study was performed by researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. The results showed that the number of migraines fell in all three groups that were examined and described above. There was no difference in the preventative effect between the … Read more

Living with NDPH

On my website I discuss New Daily Persistent Headache (NDPH) . I have also previously posted some NDPH chronic headache articles. Recently I found a website called Living with NDPH. The site is written by Amy, a mother of 3, who has suffered with a chronic persistent headache for 4 years, and has been blogging about it since last August. If you suffer from NDPH her website is a good resource. Another great resource is MDJunction as I have posted about before. I recently read an interesting story of Amy’s Living with NDPH website about a Young Boy Cured of NDPH after suffering from 5 months. Essentially in the story which I encourage you to read on Amy’s website the young 11 year old boy had a headache start near the start of 2010. He had several tests done and … Read more

NDPH – Chronic Headache Articles

I found some useful articles on NDPH and chronic headache that may be of interest to you if you suffer from new daily persistent headache or have frequent headaches. There are also some key take-home points even if you do not currently suffer from any headache condition. The first point is that surgery has been shown to trigger 24/7 headache in children in at least a handful of cases. This has occurred in extra-cranial surgery, meaning surgery that is not of the brain. The pathophysiology of this is currently unknown… Thus this should certainly be weighed when considering whether or not to undergo wisdom teeth removal as it is surgery. The other important take-home point is that this 24/7 headache often does not respond to any treatment. Thus the goal of treatment in the short term is often to reduce … Read more