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Colleen Doherty, MD

Headaches / Migraine Blog


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Headache and a Potentially Deadly Rash

Friday May 30, 2014

As an internist, I find myself occasionally looking up pictures in my dermatology handbook or referring patients to my dermatology colleague for perplexing "rash" cases. This is especially true in the summer time, when it seems that rashes run rampant. Fortunately, the majority of rashes are benign and nothing to worry about, just bothersome or annoying to the patient. Or, they are a bit more complicated but can be easily treated with a prescription medication and observation.

Rarely though, a rash signals a medical emergency. One example of this is the characteristic rash of meningococcal meningitis. As in almost all cases of meningitis, headache too accompanies this rash. Please read more about meningococcal meningitis in Headache with a Rash.

Have you ever experienced a headache with a rash? What was your diagnosis?

"Can I Give My Child Butterbur for His Migraine?"

Monday May 26, 2014

Let's face it. When our children suffer, so do we as parents. That's why parents are frequently researching and delving into ways that can improve their child's quality of life. This may include considering nutritional supplements for your little one's ailments. So, How Can I Prevent Migraines in My Child? Let's examine what the research shows on using nutraceuticals for migraine prevention in the pediatric population. As a warning, the research is limited, but at least this is a start.

"I'm Off to the ER"

Sunday May 25, 2014

An ER visit for me this weekend (for a non-migraine-related issue) nevertheless sparked my interest in researching the management of migraines in the emergency room. While I dreaded that poke of the needle in my arm, I thought of the great benefits of IV (intravenous) medication for rapid pain relief. Let's review these medications in Going to the ER for A Migraine.

What medications have you received in the ER for migraine alleviation? Did it work well? Was the pain relief long-lasting?

Botox: Not Just for Wrinkles

Sunday May 25, 2014

Botox for Migraines? YES! In fact, Botox is being used now for many other medical conditions as well, like dystonia, or overactive bladder. Botulinum toxin, known by the trade name Botox, is a toxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum and works by blocking nerve connections, which decreases muscle activity. It was approved in October 2010 by the FDA for treatment of chronic migraine. In addition to being used for chronic migraine, Botox is sometimes utilized prior to migraine surgery. You can read more about this in Is Surgery an Option for Your Migraines?

Do you have any experience using Botox for your migraines? Would you be open to trying it? Please share your thoughts.

Antibody to CGRP: Some Stirring Results!

Tuesday May 20, 2014

At the American Academy of Neurology 66th Annual Meeting in April, the preliminary results of two phase II, randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled studies were shared. The two drugs examined are both CGRP antibodies. CGRP, which is calcitonin gene-related peptide, is a protein released in the nervous system during a migraine attack.

So...Can an Antibody to CGRP Prevent My Migraines? Please read further to see the exciting, early results!

"Is The Hole in My Heart Causing My Migraines?"

Sunday May 11, 2014

Many of you have probably heard of the link between PFOs and migraines. A PFO or patent foramen ovale is a "hole in the heart" that normally closes right after birth. In about 25% of the population though, this hole does not close. While mostly asymptomatic, some people can be at risk for strokes. Migraines too have been linked to PFOs. So should you be evaluated for a PFO if you are a migraineur? If you have this "hole," should you have it closed? This is a tricky, debated medical topic. Let's delve into it further in my article, Migraine and "Hole in My Heart." Hopefully, I can answer your questions and unmask some of the confusion behind this topic.

Morning Headache

Friday May 9, 2014

The first thought that comes to my mind when a patient describes a headache in the morning is a sleep apnea headache. As an internist, I have seen a number of patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). It is a burdensome disease process that notoriously causes patients to complain of headaches in the morning, episodes of dozing off during the day, and cognitive or memory problems. While there are a number of medical disorders that can cause a headache in the morning, sleep apnea is a common culprit, and unfortunately, may go undiagnosed for years. Let's better understand what a sleep apnea headache is and how you can treat it.

"My Headache Woke Me Up"

Monday April 28, 2014

There are a number of causes for a headache that wakes you up from your sleep. One rare and benign headache disorder that occurs during your peaceful ("now, not so peaceful") slumber is hypnic headache. Of course, your doctor will want to make sure there is not something more serious going on before making this diagnosis. Learn more about hypnic headache in I Have a Headache When I Sleep.

" I am Tired of the Pain"

Sunday April 27, 2014

Do you suffer from chronic pain whether it be headaches or from another source or just generalized? Chronic pain is a tricky, complex topic that is not uncommonly seen in those who suffer from headaches, especially chronic daily headaches. Let's take a closer look at what chronic pain is in my article, "I Have Chronic Pain" and how it's related to headaches.

"I Have a Headache Everyday"

Monday April 21, 2014

Do you suffer from a headache nearly everyday? Have you seen a headache specialist or neurologist? Here is the skinny on something called Chronic Daily Headache. Learn the facts about the different headache conditions that may occur on a daily basis.

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