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Migraine Blog

Related terms: Migraine Headache, Hemiplegic Migraine, Complicated Migraine, Basilar-Type Migraine, Basilar Artery Migraine

Could Reducing Stress Help Bring On a Migraine?

Posted 19 days ago by

TUESDAY, April 1, 2014 – In a surprising twist on how stress may affect migraine risk, new research suggests that patients who are able to lower their stress levels may end up inadvertently boosting their immediate risk for a migraine attack. The study, led by Dr. Richard Lipton, director of the Montefiore Headache Center and vice chair of neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in New York City, was published March 26 in the journal Neurology. "This study demonstrates a striking association between reduction in perceived stress and the occurrence of migraine headaches," Lipton said in a college news release. Though the authors noted that stress has long been seen as a trigger of headaches, the new study found that when migraine sufferers are able to relax following a bout of elevated stress, the stress decline itself may boost migraine risk. During the first six-hour ... Read more

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Topamax Approval for Migraines Expanded to Younger Users

Posted 31 Mar 2014 by

MONDAY, March 31, 2014 – U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of the drug Topamax (topiramate) to prevent migraine headaches has been expanded to include adolescents 12 years to 17 years, the agency said Friday. It's the first migraine-prevention drug approved for adolescents, the FDA said in a news release. Topamax was first sanctioned in 1996 to prevent seizures, and was approved to prevent migraines in adults in 2004. Some 12 percent of the U.S. population has migraines, usually characterized by throbbing pain on one side of the head. Other symptoms may include nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. Topamax was evaluated in clinical studies involving 103 adolescent migraine sufferers. The most common side effects included burning or prickling sensations in the extremities, upper respiratory infection, loss of appetite and abdominal pain. The drug increases the risk of ... Read more

Related support groups: Migraine, Topamax, Migraine Prevention, Topiramate, Migraine Prophylaxis, Topamax Sprinkle, Topiragen

FDA Approves Topamax for Migraine Prevention in Adolescents

Posted 28 Mar 2014 by

March 28, 2014 – Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Topamax (topiramate) for prevention (prophylaxis) of migraine headaches in adolescents ages 12 to 17. This is the first FDA approval of a drug for migraine prevention in this age group. The medication is taken on a daily basis to reduce the frequency of migraine headaches. Topamax was first approved by the FDA in 1996 to prevent seizures. It was approved for migraine prevention in adults in 2004. “Migraine headaches can impact school performance, social interactions, and family life,” said Eric Bastings, M.D., deputy director of the Division of Neurology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Adding dosing and safety information for the adolescent age group to the drug’s prescribing information will help to inform health care professionals and patients in making treatment choices.” Abou ... Read more

Related support groups: Migraine, Topamax, Migraine Prevention, Topiramate, Migraine Prophylaxis

FDA Approves First Device to Prevent Migraines

Posted 11 Mar 2014 by

TUESDAY, March 11, 2014 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved the first device aimed at preventing migraines. The device, called Cefaly, is a headband-like device that runs on a battery and sits across the forehead and over the ears, the FDA said in a statement. "The user positions the device in the center of the forehead, just above the eyes, using a self-adhesive electrode," the agency explained. "The device applies an electric current to the skin and underlying body tissues to stimulate branches of the trigeminal nerve, which has been associated with migraine headaches." Cefaly is made by Belgium-based Cefaly Technology and is available by prescription only. The device is only indicated for use by adults and should only be used for 20 minutes per day, the FDA said. The agency also noted that "the user may feel a tingling or massaging sensation where the ... Read more

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Power of Suggestion Revealed in Study of Migraine Drug

Posted 8 Jan 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 8, 2014 – A new study of migraine sufferers suggests that what you're told when your doctor prescribes medication can influence your body's response to it. Researchers from Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston compared the effects of a common migraine drug and an inactive placebo in 66 people who suffer from migraines. The condition includes throbbing headache, nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound. The results consistently showed that taking the pills accompanied by positive information increased the effectiveness of the treatment, whether the patient had taken the real deal – the drug Maxalt – or a pill labeled "placebo." Headache specialist Dr. Andrew Charles said the study demonstrates that expectation about response plays an important role in the ultimate response to a treatment. "When migraine patients were told ... Read more

Related support groups: Migraine, Maxalt, Maxalt-MLT, Rizatriptan

Behavioral Therapy Might Ease Kids' Migraine Symptoms

Posted 26 Dec 2013 by

TUESDAY, Dec. 24, 2013 – A specific type of therapy helps reduce the number of migraines and migraine-related disabilities in children and teens, according to a new study. The findings provide strong evidence for the use of "cognitive behavioral therapy" – which includes training in coping with pain – in managing chronic migraines in children and teens, said study leader Scott Powers, of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, and colleagues. The therapy should be routinely offered as a first-line treatment, along with medications, he said. More than 2 percent of adults and about 1.75 percent of children have chronic migraines, according to the study, which was published in the Dec. 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. But there are no treatments approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to quell these debilitating headaches in young people, the ... Read more

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FDA Approves New Magnet Device to Treat Migraines

Posted 16 Dec 2013 by

SUNDAY, Dec. 15, 2013 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first device aimed at easing the pain of migraines preceded by aura – sensory disturbances that occur just before an attack. About a third of migraine sufferers experience auras. The Cerena Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator would be obtained through prescription, the FDA said in a statement released Friday. Patients use both hands to hold the device against the back of their head and press a button so that the device can release a pulse of magnetic energy. This pulse stimulates the brain's occipital cortex, which may stop or ease migraine pain. "Millions of people suffer from migraines, and this new device represents a new treatment option for some patients," Christy Foreman, director of the Office of Device Evaluation in the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in the statement. The ... Read more

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First Device to Treat Migraine With Aura Approved

Posted 16 Dec 2013 by

MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2013 – The first device to treat migraine pain when the headache is preceded by an often-visual disturbance called an aura has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The Cerena Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator (TMS) is held to the back of the head and the user presses a button to release a pulse of magnetic energy. This stimulates the brain's occipital cortex, which may reduce or eliminate migraine-associated pain, the FDA said in a news release. The device was tested in a clinical trial of 201 people with mostly moderate-to-strong migraines. Nearly 38 percent of people with migraine pain were pain-free two hours after use, compared with 17 percent of people who didn't use the device, the FDA said. The device was not evaluated among people with headaches other than those with migraines preceded by aura, the agency said. Among the rare side effects ... Read more

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Nasal Allergies, Hay Fever Tied to More Migraines in Study

Posted 26 Nov 2013 by

TUESDAY, Nov. 26, 2013 – Allergies and hay fever may increase the number and severity of migraine headaches, according to a new study. Researchers analyzed data from nearly 6,000 migraine sufferers who filled out a questionnaire in 2008 as part of the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention Study. Two-thirds of the respondents said they had nasal or seasonal allergies, or hay fever. Based on the findings, the study authors concluded that those with allergies and hay fever were 33 percent more likely to have more frequent migraines than those without these conditions. The report was published online Nov. 25 in the journal Cephalalgia. The study is one of the first to link the frequency of migraines to irritation and inflammation of the nasal mucus membrane caused by allergic and non-allergic triggers, according to lead author Dr. Vincent Martin. He is a professor of medicine at the ... Read more

Related support groups: Migraine, Allergies, Allergic Rhinitis, Hay Fever

What Not to Do for Migraines

Posted 21 Nov 2013 by

THURSDAY, Nov. 21, 2013 – Prescription pain medications should not be the first treatment for migraines. And doctors shouldn't routinely order brain scans for patients with these debilitating headaches, according to new guidelines. Taking a stand on common but often unnecessary or potentially risky tests and treatments for migraine, the American Headache Society published new recommendations in the November-December issue of the journal Headache. "Our aim is to encourage doctors and patients to think carefully about medical care that can be harmful or unnecessary," said Dr. Elizabeth Loder, president of the American Headache Society. "We didn't approach this with cost uppermost in mind. The goal is to help address the problems of low-value care." Opioid painkillers, such as OxyContin and Vicodin, and the barbiturate butalbital pose serious long-term risks, the society said. "The ... Read more

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Obesity May Increase Migraine Odds

Posted 11 Sep 2013 by

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 11 – Obese people may be at higher risk for episodic migraines, a new study suggests. Episodic migraines – the more common type of migraine – occur 14 days or fewer per month, while chronic migraines occur at least 15 days per month. Migraines involve intense pulsing or throbbing pain in one area of the head, according to the American Academy of Neurology. Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound. Migraines affect more than 10 percent of the population. In the study of more than 3,800 adults, those with a high body-mass index (BMI) – a measure of body fat determined using height and weight – were 81 percent more likely to have episodic migraines than those with a lower BMI. This was particularly true among women, whites and those under the age of 50. The cross-sectional study doesn't prove that obesity causes episodic migraines, but ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Migraine

Migraines Linked to Changes in Brain Structure

Posted 28 Aug 2013 by

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 28 – People with migraines – either with or without an aura preceding the headache – show changes in the structure of their brains on imaging tests, researchers say. A new review of previous research shows that people who have migraines have abnormalities in the brain's white matter, lesions that resemble previous strokes, and changes in the volume of areas of their brains. "The clinical significance of these changes is unclear," said senior study author Dr. Messoud Ashina, an associate professor and director of the human migraine research program at the Danish Headache Center and Glostrup Hospital, in Copenhagen. "It is not clear how and why these lesions develop, what they are and what long-term consequences they have for individuals with migraine. Therefore, I do not think the patient should be concerned, but treatment and control of migraine is recommended," he ... Read more

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Most Pregnant Women Treated for Migraines Able to Deliver Vaginally

Posted 30 Jun 2013 by

FRIDAY, June 28 – Most pregnant women who were hospitalized and treated for acute severe migraines had vaginal births of full-term babies, a small new study finds. Nearly 76 percent of the patients had full-term vaginal deliveries and about 17 percent had preterm deliveries. The rate of preterm delivery in the general population is about 11 percent. Follow-up was not possible for about 7 percent of the patients. Participants included 29 patients who were an average of 27.5 weeks pregnant when they were treated in a hospital for migraines. Treatments included: acetaminophen (Tylenol) by mouth (79 percent); intravenous metoclopramide (59 percent); a combination of the two (55 percent); oral or IV narcotic (34 percent); acetaminophen, butalbital and caffeine (24 percent); and IV magnesium sulfate (7 percent). Ten percent of patients needed more pain relief and were treated with peripheral ... Read more

Related support groups: Migraine, Tylenol, Acetaminophen, Fioricet, Paracetamol, Reglan, Metoclopramide, Panadol, Esgic, Esgic-Plus, Tylenol Extra Strength, Dolgic Plus, Q-Pap, Panadol Osteo, Acetaminophen Quickmelt, Childrens Tylenol, Tylenol Arthritis Caplet, Perfalgan, Panamax, Acetaminophen/Butalbital/Caffeine

Acute Migraines More Apt to Turn Chronic With Poor Treatment

Posted 28 Jun 2013 by

FRIDAY, June 28 – People who receive inadequate treatment for acute migraine headaches are more likely to develop chronic migraines, according to a new study. Researchers looked at data from more than 4,600 people with episodic migraines (14 or fewer migraine days per month) and found that 48 percent of them received poor or very poor treatment. These patients were more likely to progress to having chronic migraines (15 or more migraine days a month) than those who received better treatment, according to the study, which was presented this week at the International Headache Congress meeting in Boston. Within a year, about 8 percent of patients who received very poor treatment progressed to chronic migraine, compared with 4.4 percent of those who received poor treatment, 2.9 percent of those who received moderate treatment and 2.5 percent of those who received the best treatment. ... Read more

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Migraine Sufferers Face Significant Stigma, Study Finds

Posted 27 Jun 2013 by

THURSDAY, June 27 – Those who get migraines have to deal not only with the pain, which can be disabling, but the stigma caused by others who tend to discount the impact of the debilitating headaches, a new study shows. "We were able to validate that people who have migraine are not mistaken that they feel they are stigmatized," said lead researcher Dr. Robert Shapiro, a professor of neurological sciences at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. "We have found those perceptions are well-grounded, and that the stigma that people with migraine experience is of a similar magnitude to the stigma people with epilepsy and panic attack experience," he noted. "The general attitude is that migraine is not a serious or valid condition," he said. In the study, those with asthma experienced the least amount of stigma of the four conditions studied. Epilepsy patients can experience ... Read more

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