Monday May 20, 2013
In a study published this month in Phytotherapy Research, 100 patients with migraine without aura were blindly given either ginger powder or sumatriptan for migraine treatment. Two hours after treatment, patients reported a decrease in their headache severity regardless of the treatment they received. Sumatriptan and ginger powder were found to be similar in their effect on migraine relief.
This inspired me to find some ginger-based recipes, especially drink recipes as I am always looking for something soothing to sip on as I blog and research articles. While ginger has no promising healing migraine power (we need more studies!), these recipes are just plain fun and may help take your mind off your daily stress.
Please read my article Soothing Migraine Drinks. Feel free to share any "soothing" or "headache-thwarting" recipes you enjoy!
Source (Abstract): Medhi M, Farhad G, Alireza ME, Mehran Y. "Comparison Between the Efficacy of Ginger and Sumatriptan in the Ablative Treatment of the Common Migraine." Phytother Res May 2013 Online.
Please share any "headache-power-fighting" recipes you use.
Monday May 20, 2013
A very recent study published in Science Translational Medicine found a gene that may link migraines and a rare sleep disorder called advanced sleep phase disorder. This is a disorder in which people go to bed in the early evening (between 6pm and 8pm) due to excessive sleepiness at this time of day and an inability to stay up later despite social norms. These individuals also awake in the early morning (1am to 3am) before their desired awakening period.
This particular study examined two families who have different mutations in the casein kinase gene, a gene involved in circadian rhythms or sleep-wake cycle regulation. They found that multiple members of both families have migraines as well as advanced sleep phase disorder. This hints at a potential link between migraines and sleep (which many of us can relate too!). Additionally, scientists in this study looked at mice who contained these genetic mutations and found them to have brain changes similar to those in humans who have migraines. The mice with the mutated gene were also more likely to be sensitive to pain after being treated with a medication that would trigger a migraine.
What is the big picture here? Scientists are learning more about the complex relationship between migraines and sleep AND this study further hints at a genetic basis for migraines (which explains why migraines run in families). By understanding the genes linked to migraines, scientists can target better treatments. Exciting!
Here is the article abstract is you are interested in reading more. Please also read my article Sleep and Migraine.
Brennan KC, Bates, EA, Shapiro R, Zyuzin J, Hallows WC, Huang Y, et al. Casein Kinase 1δ Mutations in Familial Migraine and Advanced Sleep Phase. Sci Transl Med May 2013;183(5).
Friday May 17, 2013
Even though I do not personally suffer from a rare form of headache, I am always interested in reading about or listening to those who do. As a migraneur and physician, I strive to better understand other's experiences of head pain so that I can better my own health and those of my patients.
One rare type of headache that I wrote about this month is called primary cough headache. It is triggered by - you guessed it- coughing. I provide more details in my article, Primary Cough Headache, but please let me clarify right off the bat that coughing can aggravate many headaches, including migraines. This does not mean you have primary cough headache. The difference is that in primary cough headache, coughing is the actual and definitive trigger for the headache.
By chance do any of you suffer from primary cough headache or another unique type of headache pain.? Please share your diagnosis or list other rare headache types that you would be interested in reading about.
Saturday April 27, 2013
After delivering my son, I fondly recall his healthy cries and grandparent's oodles as he was passed around from one set of loving arms to another. On a less exciting note, I also recall the tension headache I soon developed after delivery that seemed to linger for hours. Fortunately, my headache was not serious and was triggered by the typical culprits of delivering a baby - hormone changes, exhaustion and hunger. A long nap, fluids, and a small lunch cured it. But, postpartum headaches should not be taken lightly especially if they are different from your typical headaches or persist greater than 24 hours after delivery. They may represent something more serious or a medical condition that is seen only or more frequently in postpartum women.
If you had the experience of delivering a child, did you develop a postpartum headache? What cured it? Did you notify your doctor about it? Please share your thoughts and experiences.