Controlling Your Migraines

Written by AnaLise on March 26, 2009 – 3:34 am -

OK. It’s been a long day and you are exhausted, stressed, frustrated, skipping dinner (not good) and have a 3″ stack of papers that need to be done tonight and the stack is sitting right where your dinner plate should be.

You take out your Exedrin, Tylenol or whatever for migraines and pour yourself a glass of wine. Wrong move! First of all, researchers have determined that too many over the counter migraine pills or other pain pills can actually make migraines worse. As for the wine, it’s not necessarily a good or safe combination with the medication. In addition, if you look at a list of some of the top things that are migraine triggers, you will find that wine, chocolate and nuts are at the top of the list. If you ever find that you get a migraine after you have one of those substances (or other things particular to you that bring on a migraine), think very carefully about whether or not you should continue eating or drinking any of these items. They are most likely migraine triggers.

I am a migraine sufferer who is also a chocoholic. Thank goodness that chocolate is not a trigger for me. It would certainly be an extremely difficult choice! However, wine – especially red wine – is a major trigger. I am not mch of a drinker but I have a glass of wine on special occasions from time to time. We are talking every few months – one glass. For years I didn’t now what was wrong. I would get home from an awards dinner or a gala of some sort and I would end up with headaches that I cannot explain in words. The pain was so bad at times, I had to be taken to the emergency room where they put me on an I V or gave me a strong shot for pain, for nausea and for sleep. When I woke up 10 to 12 hours later, the headache was usually gone, but I was groggy and felt totally drugged.

After this happened a few times, my doctor and I worked backwards and connected the dots to figure out what was triggering these headaches. We finally nailed it down to one or two things, the number one suspect being the wine. I ate all the other foods without a problem. The only problems that occurred were horrible headaches after a glass of wine. I would get stress headaches and other headaches. At the time, the only real migraine medicine was Imitrix. The doctor made sure I had an ongoing prescription and that I carried them with me in my purse and kept some at home. By stopping drinking any wine, most of the terrible headaches – the worst ones – stopped. If I did get a migraine and took the Imitrix before the symptoms got too bad, the migraine never fully developed.

I rarely get migraines any more. I keep my doctor advised as to what is happening and I have a check up every 3 to 6 months. Migraines are critical to discuss with and deal with your doctor. Many people don’t know that migraines can lead to stroke, aneurysm, eye disorders and more.

Don’t write them off. Find the cause. Work with your doctor. Find the triggers. Find the right medicine – there are many more medications available for migraines than there used to be. Work with your doctor to determine a treatment plan with you including which medication works best for you. Your story – and your migraines – could end happily like mine.

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Migraines Minute by Minute

Written by AnaLise on March 26, 2009 – 12:09 am -

If you are like a lot of people, you sometimes or often get headaches that are horribly debilitating but you just muddle through them. You take some over the counter migraine medication and instead of easing the headache, sometimes it makes the headache worse.

I have suffered from migraines for years. I won’t say how many years, but let’s just say that it has been over 35 years! I have taken non-prescription medicine, put ice on my head and neck, tried to rest in a dark, quiet room and a few other things. Most didn’t work. The ones that did work didn’t work well.

Like you, I could feel the symptoms coming on, and no matter what symptoms I had, I knew that there was a migraine on the way. Lightheadedness, pain in the back or side of the head, nausea and more. No matter what the symptom, I always knew that these were not just regular headaches.

Since I wasn’t getting these headaches every day or even every week, I didn’t run to the doctor. In addition, isn’t it very iteresting that we almost seem to get all the big stuff at night – especially during the middle of the night – or at a party or wedding or important event. If it got really bad, I’d end up in the emergency room and they would give me a shot or two so I could go home and sleep it off.

Over the years, dealing with migraines for most people, there have been many changes and improvements in treatment and medications to choose from that can be used on a regular basis, either daily, weekly, or at the time of the headache. Sometimes I have had to use different medications because some do a better job than others. If you are suffering with these headaches don’t wait – see a doctor. It could be a migraine or other headache, but it could be a headache that could cause an aneurysm or a seizure.

Regardless, the best symptom of a migraine is the feeling of it fading away when the medication works.

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Helping Migraines By Closing a Heart Hole

Written by AnaLise on February 19, 2009 – 9:19 pm -

There is a common heart abnormality known as a patent foramen ovale (PFO).  This is a small hole in the heart and researchers have been studying this hole for may years.  One thing they found about the PTO is that those who have this  hole and need it closed have a positive side effect:  when the hole is closed the individual no longer gets continuous migraine headaches.

But a researcher who has studied the issue for almost a decade tells WebMD that the jury is still out on the treatment.

In the new study, patients with PFOs who had a minimally invasive catheter-based procedure to close the small hole in their heart had significantly fewer disabling migraines than patients with PFOs who did not have the procedure.  As many as one in four people have a PFO abnormality, but most never know it.

Prior to birth, everyone has the small opening, which exists to divert blood away from undeveloped lungs. Normally, the hole closes after birth, but in some people the closure is not complete.

While not everyone with PFOs has migraines and not everyone with migraines has PFOs, studies show that migraine sufferers are far more likely to have the heart abnormality than people without migraines.

PFO researcher Peter Wilmshurst, MB, of the UK’s Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, tells WebMD that about half of patients with a specific type of migraine known as migraine with aura have large PFOs or similar openings in their hearts compared to about 5% of the population at large.

Wilmshurst did not participate in the new study, but he was involved in an earlier study that examined PFO closure as a treatment for migraines. Published last year, that study, known as the MIST trial, found no benefit for the treatment.

The new study included 82 migraine patients who had large PFOs and no history of strokes. All the patients also had a type of brain lesion that is commonly seen in brain scans of patients with migraines.

Fifty-three of the patients had the PFO closure procedure and 29 did not.

At six months follow-up, the PFO closure patients showed significant improvements in both the frequency and severity of their migraine headaches.

In all, 53% of patients in the PFO closure group reported a disappearance of disabling headaches, compared to 7% of the patients who did not have the closure procedure; 87% in the closure group reported a more than 50% reduction in total headaches, compared to 21% of the patients in the comparison group.

The study appears in the Feb. 24 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

“Only patients in the closure group reported a significant reduction of migraine severity, which is crucial for quality of life,” study researcher Carlo Vigna, MD, and colleagues write. “In contrast, the number of disabling attacks did not change or increased in 41% of controls.”

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Headaches, Migraines and Treatment

Written by AnaLise on January 1, 2009 – 11:31 pm -


A migraine is a type of headache that is usually more severe and debilitating than a normal headache. Migraines are often accompanied by throbbing and/or pulsating pain, and have been described as feeling like a hot knife inside the head.  Other symptoms that accompany a migraine include sensitivity to light and sound plus nausea.

There are two types of migraines: one with aura beforehand and one without. An “aura” usually involves seeing flashes of light, zigzag lines in a person’s field of vision, blind spots or tingling in an arm or leg. These symptoms usually arrive before pain begins, giving the sufferer fair warning that it’s time to take their medication. The migraines that have no aura begin without warning and the pain gradually builds up.
There are various triggers to migraines.  Some involve food allergies, others can be hormonal issues. There are various treatments including medication taken on a regular basis, some when you feel the aura or pain beginning and others on a daily basis to prevent migraines from appearing at all.   Biofeedback, ice treatments, meditation, acupuncture and acupressure are also used for treatment.  The rule of thumb is that if you take over the counter medication and it stops your headache, it probably isn’t a migraine.

You can take over-the-counter, pain-relieving drugs once you experience the first signs or symptoms of a migraine. However, if you are taking over-the-counter medications for them more than eight times a month you should look into seeing your doctor about a prescription treatment. Another way to address migraines is to do an activity you find relaxing.  These could include lying down in a dark room or taking a hot bath or shower.  This might lessen the effects of a migraine.
Regardless of what type of remedy you choose for dealing with a migraine or other headache, if you are experiencing headaches on a regular basis – especially more than 8 per month – you should consult your doctor to find the best form of treatment for you.

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Migraine Research Provides Positive Information

Written by AnaLise on December 29, 2008 – 7:55 am -

Migraines have been around for quiet some time and have been increasing.  In the past, the best doctors could do for a migraine sufferer, especially a chronic migraine sufferer, was to basically tell them to “take two aspirin and call me in the morning.”  You know the drill.  They would tell you to rest, decrease stress if possible and use Tylenol or Advil if the aspirin doesn’t work.  In addition, ice packs were also common treatments.  Most of these treatments didn’t work – and still don’t work – against debilitating and chronic migraines.

Because of continuous research by leaders in the medical field, such as the Mayo Clinic, National Institutes of Health and The National Headache Foundation, there have been many new medications developed and many new uses for existing medications, as well.

In addition, researchers have found ways to help many migraine sufferers ease the pain of migraines, often without medication.  There are also other treatments such as biofeedback, which often helps migraine sufferers ease the symptoms without medication or with less medication.  Research has also helped develop a number of specific medications that were created for migraines, such as Cafergot, Topomax, Imitrex, Toridol, Midrin, Maxalt, Relpax, Zomig, Frova, Acular, Axert, Anaprox, Fioricet, Orudis, Amerge, Migranol and many others.  The fact that research has yielded a large amount of choices of medications, when less than 15 years ago there were only one or two medications available that were specifically for migraines.  Without continuous research about migraines and what helps ease and relieve them, there could still only be a couple of medications available to migraine sufferers.  Sounds a lot better than taking an aspirin and calling your doctor in the morning.

Some recent and ongoing studies have included researching and looking at synapses, neurons, the role of resting MRI’s in diagnosing chronic migraines, the effects of estrogen levels and menstruation on migraines and many other studies and forms of research.

Because there is research continuing throughout the country at major universities, medical centers and other heath care institutions, there is hope for migraine sufferers.  Today, there is positive information and there are choices of treatment and medications.  With continuous research there will be  elimination of the causes of migraines and the end of the excessive suffering from this debilitating form of headache.

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Diagnosis and Help for Migraines

Written by AnaLise on December 29, 2008 – 7:22 am -

Some people suffer with migraines for years before seeking help.  Some never seek help because they don’t know where to look or how to look.  That is a very painful way to go.  At least half of the migraine sufferers in the U.S. do not get diagnosis or treatment for their migraines. 

You should talk to your doctor about headaches, especially if you have more than a couple of headaches per month and/or if they last for several hours or days.  In addition, if your headachesare getting in the way of your home, work or school, or if you have nausea, vomiting or other symptoms accompanying them, it is important for you to talk to your doctor about your headaches and all of your symptoms.

It is important to prepare for your doctor’s visit and help your doctor identify your headaches by keeping track of certain things in advance.  Before your appointment, make sure to write down how often your headaches are occurring and how long they last from beginning to end.  Write down what your symptoms are, such as nausea, problems with light or noise, and where the pain is located.  Other important information includes when the headache and other symptoms start, such as during your menstrual period, after you have eaten specific food or had a certain beverage.  For instance, some people can drink beer and rum but not vodka or wine.  They have no symptoms with a glass of beer or a drink that has rum in it, but if they have a glass of wine or a drink with vodka in it, they may have very extreme symptoms within a few minutes or hours.  These are things your doctor needs to know.  Also let the doctor know if your family has any history of migraines or other headaches and if you are having other symptoms, such as blind spots.

Your doctor will review this information with you.  You might have to have some tests including a blood test.  This will start the process of finding the appropriate treatment for your headaches and migraines.  If you are looking for further information after you speak with your doctor, you can find information at

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Dealing With Continuous Migraines

Written by AnaLise on November 20, 2008 – 7:51 am -

If you have suffered from a migraine headache every once in a while, you know that they are debilitating, they are awful and you hold your breath during an episode, then breathe a sigh of relief when they are over.  Not only do migraines pretty much wipe us out for a few hours or days, they also leave us exhausted too many times.  It often takes days after the episode in order to get back to being yourself.

Now, think of how overwhelming it would be if – instead of having a migraine every once in a while – you had a migraine regularly, monthly, weekly or even daily.  Having suffered migraines myself for many years, often on a weekly basis, I am familiar with the pain and the after effects.  You barely get your equilibrium back again when the cycle starts all over.  It messes up your work, your family and your life.

There are some ways to deal with continuous migraines.  First of all, there are newer and more advanced medications that can stop migraines as their symptoms begin, stop migraines before they begin (by taking medication regularly), and stop migraines altogether.  There are different treatments for different people.  It’s not a “one size fits all” sort of treatment. 

If you suffer from regular headaches go to the doctor and get help.  Make sure you are keeping track of symptoms.  Are there visual problems that come with them?  Nausea?  Does your neck hurt?  What was happening at work or home before the migraine that might have brought it on?  Was it extreme stress?  What did you eat or drink before the headache?  Were you tired, lethargic, having a hard time concentrating?  All of these can be precursors to migraines.

The interesting fact is that over 25% of migraine sufferers get no real warning before they start.  Many migraine sufferers suffer in silence, sometimes for years.  When my migraines started – due to some serious health problems and hormone changes – there were not many choices of medications and both my family and the doctors – several of them – told me they were all in my head.  Only the emergency room – usually at the most inopportune time in the middle of the night – would take a look at my symptoms and feel sorry enough to use some sort of medication to knock me out for a while.

Things have changed.  There is help available.  Don’t suffer through migraine after migraine.  See a specialist.  Talk to your doctor.  Look for information on the web.  It can – and does – get better. 

Two good sites are and (click on migraines).

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What is a Vestibular Migraine?

Written by AnaLise on October 23, 2008 – 3:46 pm -

There is a lot of talk going around lately about vestibular migraines.  Part of the reason for this is that Janet Jackson who is known for working very hard to present her magnificent shows had to cancel part of her tour lately due to migraines.  At first, doctors weren’t sure what they were dealing with, but with time, observation and tests, Janet was diagnosed with vestibular migraines, and after just a few days of treatment, she was back on stage.

It used to be that all we heard about were tension headaches and migraine headaches, and perhaps a few words about stress headaches, which in my mind are the same as tension headaches.  So, what are vestibular migraines?  There are a lot of people who want to know.

A vestibular migraine is a migraine headache plus.  The plus is not a good plus; it’s an extra symptom to deal with in the midst of a debilitating migraine headache.  When a person experiences a vestibular migraine, they experience an episode of vertigo before – and often, during – a migraine headache.  The vestibular part of the migraine has to do with the inner ear, which keeps our balance.  Vertigo is a situation where a person actually feels like they are moving, even though it is a hallucination. 

According to individuals who have experienced vertigo, they have described it as being a spinning sensation or a feeling like you have just gotten off of a boat and still feel that up and down motion inside.  Doctors have said that in a vestibular migraine, quite often the vertigo comes on before the headache and lasts during the headache, as well as often being worse than the headache itself. 

There are other aspects of a vestibular migraine that need mentioning.  Many people with migraines can experience dizziness along with it or before it, however there are other symptoms in a vestibular migraines.  Some of the main symptoms include fainting, eye movements that are not normal, temporary loss of hearing and weakness in the arms and/or legs. 

Vestibular migraines used to be thought of as a lack of circulation to the back of the brain, however through research, physicians have discovered that they are a neurological problem with the function of the back of the brain.  These headaches usually start around the mid 20’s but can appear at any age.  They can be more difficult to treat than regular migraines, and usually need migraine medication and separate medication to address the vertigo.

No matter what age you are, if you are experiencing the symptoms in this article, talk to your doctor as soon as possible or find a specialist who can help you.

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New Headache Reliever Treatment Band

Written by AnaLise on October 23, 2008 – 3:42 pm -

If you have ever suffered a migraine headache, you know that you would probably try almost anything – even a hammer – to make it stop.  I have had some whopper migraines in my day.  The ones where you end up at the ER at midnight on Saturday after trying to do everything to avoid it.  Medication.  Dark room.  Shhhh! Quiet.  Coke or Pepsi.  Mountain Dew if it’s really bad.  Feverfew.  Aromatherapy.  And by midnight, you are in the ER willing to let the doctor do anything or give you anything – even poison – to just simply make the pain stop.

There is a new treatment on the market now and it’s called The Headache Reliever.  The Headache Reliever was created by Dr. Stephen Landy of Memphis, TN and Brand Griffin of Huntsville, AL.  Dr. Landy, who is a board-certified neurologist and Clinical Professor at the University of Tennessee School of Medicine, invented the The Headache Reliever after seeing many patients with headaches use pain medication, but then having to supplement the medication with other home remedies.  One of the remedies that he saw over and over was that people would use heat wraps and cold wraps to help relax the muscles and/or numb the pain. 

The Headache Reliever has been clinically proven to help relieve migraines without drugs by using a pressure band that helps compress blood vessels, reusable, microwavable hot packs to relax muscles and reusable freezer packs that constrict blood vessels.  Since all three of these are issues in most migraines, it is logical that one device is able to address all three.  To date, there are hot packs, cold packs and other aids; however none of them are packaged together – especially with a pressure band for compression. 

The company that Dr. Landy and Brand Griffin, who is a spaceship designer by profession, have founded to create and market The Headache Reliever is AbsolutelyNew, Inc., and is headquartered in San Francisco.  They will release The Headache Reliever for sale early in 2009.

As a migraine sufferer, I look forward to a drug-free, non ER method of migraine relief, and it seems logical that The Headache Reliever will be a huge tool to keep migraines at bay or eliminate them once they have started.  Hooray!

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Facts You Should Know About Headaches

Written by AnaLise on October 9, 2008 – 3:23 pm -

If you suffer from chronic headaches or migraines there is help available.  The first line of defense should be your doctor.  If your doctor is unable to diagnose and treat your headaches successfully, there are doctors who specialize in the treatment of headaches especially migraines.

In addition to going to the doctors, there is other support available.  One organization that dispenses information and advocates for funding for headache research is the Alliance For Headache Disorder Advocacy (AHDA).    Most recently they have been strongly encouraging the National Institutes of Health to fund more studies as to the causes and treatment for migraines and other severe headaches.  Nearly 80% of all districts in the United States have at least one advocate receiving and sharing information with AHDA.

Some information from the AHDA website that they feel is important for you to know includes these points:

• Headache disorders cause more than 1 percent of all disability and 9 percent of all lost labor in the US every year.
• Migraine alone is the 12th most disabling disorder in the US.
• Headache disorders are the most prevalent neurological disorders, affecting more than 90% of all Americans.
• The US annual direct and indirect economic costs of headache disorders exceed $31 billion.
• The NIH expended less than $10 million in 2006 towards all research on headache disorders, comprising less than 0.05 percent of its total budget.
There are other important facts about headaches, but these are striking, since migraines have been a debilitating disorder for decades and have become extremely widespread.  In addition, migraines are often linked to other disorders and diseases including aneurism, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure and reactions to food, drinks and other substances, including medication.  They can also be signs of further disease and if untreated have been fatal in some cases.
If you suffer from migraines, find help and support.  If you need further information contact the AHDA at

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Inventor Creates New Migraine Tool

Written by AnaLise on October 9, 2008 – 3:21 pm -

There have been thousands of ideas about how to stop migraine headaches – or at least make them bearable.  Some of these ideas work and some, of course, don’t work.  Sometimes, even the most outlandish of the ideas has the ability to help relieve the suffering from migraines.

There is a new tool being tested that seems to have the ability to actually stop a migraine headache before it completely starts.  Many migraine headaches start with what is called “aura” which is when a person feels light headed, sees spots or other visual disturbances.  This is what happened to Dr. Robert Fischell, who is also the inventor of the first implantable insulin pump, the rechargeable pacemaker and various coronary stents.

Dr. Fischell experienced an aura one day out of the blue.  He had never had anything like this happen before, and he says that it scared him to death because he thought he was about to have a stroke.  The interesting thing is that after the aura, nothing happened – there was no migraine that followed.  Nonetheless, it got Dr. Fischell thinking about what causes aura and migraines, and what can be done to stop the aura so that the migraine never materializes.

After extensive research, Dr. Fischell created a box that has two handles – one on each side.  When an aura happens it is because the brain is experiencing a neurological disturbance where the nerves misfire.  The occipital cortex, an area at the back of the head, is usually the area involved in the misfiring.  The box that Dr. Fischell created is placed at the back of the head, where the auras begin, and a trigger on the device emits two magnetic pulses 15 seconds apart.  This silences the nerve activity and shuts down the aura, thus stopping the migraine before it actually starts.

The device – called Neuralieve Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) –  has been tested on enough people that Dr. Fischell has applied to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be able to begin selling it as soon as early next year.

This is a huge advance toward the treatment of migraines.  Since it is non-invasive and involves no medication, there are definite plusses.  Of course, not all treatments work for all people.  The doctor is confident enough about the device that he is considering having people use it and if it doesn’t work for them, send it back and he will refund their money minus a small refurbishing fee. 

Hopefully he will get FDA approval and people will be able to try the device and see if there truly is a new and different way to eliminate migraines.

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Natural Remedies for Migraines

Written by AnaLise on October 9, 2008 – 3:18 pm -

Headaches have been one of the most common complaints of many adults.  In fact, doctors and researchers have discovered through studies that children and teens have headaches, too.

We used to think that headaches only occurred in adults and that migraines were not something that happened to kids.  Now doctors have discovered that not only do kids get migraines; but kids from age 1 through teens to adulthood can experience them on a regular basis.  Doctors that used to dismiss these as not being real now realize that these are real and that they can be quite serious.

The issue of treating migraines in children is a delicate one.  On the one hand, you want to help them control their symptoms and give them relief.  On the other hand, their parents don’t necessarily want them to start taking strong drugs, especially at a young age.

There are some natural ways to deal with migraines.  For one thing, finding out if there are specific foods or other triggers to the headaches is a good place to start.  I am seriously allergic to red wine.  I found out because three separate times, several months apart, I drank about a half a glass of red wine and within two hours had to be rushed to the emergency hospital for the massive headache that resulted.  Why did it take three times?  One reason is that I had never had this happen before, and it was thought that I might have eaten something that triggered the headache.  The second reason is that there was not as much known about migraines and triggers then as there is known now.  The last reason is that since I rarely drank red wine and these incidents happened months apart, it took some time to make the connection.  I can drink white wine to my heart’s content (though I rarely do), but I never drink red wine.

Aside from the triggers, there are things that can help with migraines once you have one or once you feel one coming on.  Natural herbs, such as feverfew, butterbur, lavender, gingko biloba, rosemary and chamomile are all said to work against migraines.  Various things will work for different people.

If none of these things work well, there is ice, biofeedback, relaxation exercises, massage and, of course, medication.  Usually, though, the various herbs mentioned in this article can help either alone or in tandem. 

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Microsurgery for Migraines

Written by AnaLise on September 6, 2008 – 2:46 am -

Individuals who have suffered from migraines know how debilitating they can be.  The throbbing, the nausea, the sensitivity to light.  If you have ever felt the pain of a migraine, you know it is extreme.  Some people have described it as feeling like a hot knife is stabbing you in the head, feeling like a fireplace poker is lodged through your temple, feeling like a piece of steel is slicing through your eye, and other very uncomfortable sounding situations.

There are many triggers to migraines including various foods, beverages, lack of sleep or lack of good sleep, increased stress and muscular difficulty.  Some of the treatments have involved biofeedback, vitamins, herbs, massage, stress relief, acupressure, acupuncture, chiropractic care and more.  Some of these treatments help some of the people some of the time. 

In addition to these treatments, there are a variety of medications available today that attack various symptoms and causes of migraines.  Some of the medications are available without prescription and others require prescriptions.  Prescription medication for migraines is often quite expensive and out of reach for many individuals.

There is a new breakthrough for migraines that does not involve any of these other treatments.  The breakthrough is a unique surgery that is only being performed by a handful of surgeons. 

The microsurgery which is performed similar to plastic surgery is performed to take the pressure off a particular nerve in the head that when pinched causes migraines.  The procedure involves cutting part of the muscle that pinches the nerve, thus eliminating the pressure.  After surgery, which decompresses the nerve, the nerve should regenerate itself and should not respond to headaches after healing. 

The procedure works for 80% of the people who have it done, according to Georgetown University Washington Hospital.  In the individuals where the procedure does not work, a subsequent surgery can be performed to remove the nerve completely. 

There are specific symptoms necessary for individuals to have the surgery.  Also, surgery is no small feat.  This is a procedure for when you are at the point where you have tried other treatments that have not worked and you are still having migraines on a regular basis.  If you are in this situation, however, it is good news to know that there is help and relief available.

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Migraines May Be Linked to Brain Damage

Written by AnaLise on August 28, 2008 – 4:13 pm -

Individuals who suffer from migraine headaches know how debilitating they can be.  Migraines are usually accompanied by severe nausea, vomiting, extreme sensitivity to light and terrible pain.  The symptoms can be so overwhelming and painful that one part of the way people deal with migraines is to tuck themselves away in a dark, quiet room and wait for the migraine to pass.

Recently research has yielded more information regarding connections between migraines and serious health issues, especially in women.  One of the most serious health issues now associated with migraines is that of stroke and brain hemorrhaging or aneurysm. 

Researchers have discovered that recurrent migraines that women have are a strong signal or a warning that the woman may be in danger of stroke. 

In addition to what studies have already shown about migraines, new information has been discovered about a link between migraines and progressive brain damage.  Studies were conducted in the Netherlands to determine if there was a connection between migraine headaches and brain damage of any type or severity.

Two groups of women were studied.  Researchers compared the brains of the women who did not suffer from migraines to the women who regularly suffered from migraines.  After having MRIs done for both groups of women, researchers found that the women who suffered from migraines showed abnormalities in several regions of the brain.  Women who had the worst or most extensive abnormalities of the brain were those who had suffered from migraines for many years, usually fifteen years or more.

Follow up studies are planned to study the brain before, during and after a migraine episode to determine what is actually happening to the brain itself in real time. 

These studies could show whether migraines are just severe and debilitating headaches or actually a type of progressive brain disease.


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