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Archive for the ‘Migraines’ Category

According to a study published in the Jorrnal Headache  (2010;50:32-41, http://tinyurl.com/HA-and-abuse) childhood abuse is highly prevalent and has been associated with recurrent headaches.  “Abuse is associated with many of the same risk factors for chronic migraines, including depression and anxiety, female sex, substance abuse, and obesity.  A total of 1348 migraineurs  were included.  Diagnosis of migraine with aura was recorded in 40% and chronic headache (≥15 days/month) was reported by 34%.  Prevalence of current depression was 28% and anxiety was 56%.  Childhood abuse was reported as follows: physical abuse 21%, sexual abuse 25%, emotional abuse 38%, physical neglect 22%, and emotional neglect 38%.  Physical abuse and emotional abuse and neglect were significantly associated with chronic migraines.  Emotional abuse was also associated with continuous daily headache, severe headache-related disability.  After adjusting for sociodemographic factors and current depression and anxiety, there remained an association between emotional abuse in childhood and both chronic  and  migraine headaches.  Childhood emotional abuse was also associated with younger median age of headache onset (16 years vs 19 years).  The study suggests that physical abuse, emotional abuse, and emotional neglect may be risk factors for development of chronic headache, including transformed migraine.  The association of abuse and headache frequency appears to be independent of depression and anxiety, which are related to both childhood abuse and chronic daily headache.  The finding that emotional abuse was associated with an earlier age of migraine onset may have implications for the role of stress responses in migraines.”

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migraineThe Los Angeles Times (10/24, Maugh “Booster Shots” blog http://tinyurl.com/surgery-for-migraines) reported, “Surgery to remove so-called trigger points for migraines can lead to dramatic improvements in patients’ health, researchers from University Hospitals in Cleveland reported” at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons meeting. In a study of 69 migraine sufferers who underwent surgery, 61 “maintained their positive response to the procedure for the full five years,” of which 20 “patients reported elimination of the migraines entirely.” Another “41 reported a significant decrease in symptoms and frequency, and eight experienced less than a 50 percent improvement.”

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topamaxThe AP (10/15) reported, “Mylan Inc. said Thursday it received regulatory approval for its version of Johnson & Johnson’s epilepsy drug Topamax [topiramate], and began shipping” the “15 milligram and 25 milligram topiramate sprinkle capsules.” The patents “on Topamax expired in March,” and the AP notes that “Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. also markets a generic version of the drug.”

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MedWire (5/27, Wilkinson) reported that, according to a study published online Apr. 28 in the journal Headache, “depression and migraine headaches may have genetic factors in common.” For the study, researchers from the University of Washington examined 758 identical and 306 non-identical female twins. Investigators eventually noted that “one twin was 3.7 times more likely to report having depression if the other twin reported depression than if she had neither depression nor migraines.” And, “a twin was 3.1 times more likely to have migraines if the other one suffered from this too.” If one had both conditions, “the chances of the other twin having both was almost 10-fold that of those who had neither condition.” This information enabled the team to “calculate that heritability was 58 percent for depression and 44 percent for migraine.” What’s more, they estimated that “20 percent of the variability in depression and migraine is due to shared genes, and four percent due to unique environmental factors that are shared.”

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MedWire (4/29, Cowen) reported that, according to a study published in the journal Headache, “post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is more common in people who suffer from migraine headaches than in the general population.” For the study, researchers from the Drexel University College of Medicine analyzed data on “593 migraine patients who suffered from either chronic daily headaches or episodic migraines.” Study “participants completed questionnaires to assess for” PTSD, and “also completed tests for depression and disability levels due to migraine headaches.” The team found that “participants with chronic daily headaches were more likely to suffer from” PTSD “than those with episodic migraine, but this difference was no longer significant after accounting for demographic factors and depression, which was more common in chronic daily headache sufferers.” Notably, “participants with depression and” PTSD “were more likely to have chronic daily headaches than episodic migraine, at 25 percent compared with 16 percent, respectively.” In addition, “disability due to headaches was greater in migraine patients with” PTSD.

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