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Top 10 Ask the Clinician: Answers to Readers Questions for 07/10/06

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Created: June 21, 2007

Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and Migraine treatment and pain treatment. To read more about Dr. Krusz, click HERE.

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1. MRI showed 2 enlarged blood vessels. From lifelong Migraine?

I am a 57 year old female, who has suffered with migraines since 17 years of age. Since December 16, have been plagued with daily migraines, Imitrex offers limited relief... I had an MRI with and without contrast yesterday, as requested by my neurologist-headache researcher Vince Martin, MD Cincinnati UC Hospital. I just spoke with him and he reported that there appears to be two enlarged blood vessels... Thanks, Helen

2. Facial & eye pain. No aura as usual. Sinus infection missed on CT?

My head started hurting four nights ago. The throbbing was only on the left side (my left) of my head, with most of the pain behind my left eye... I have Imitrex, but this did not present as a migraine with the visual distortions I normally get... went to the emergency room, because I felt frightened and have never had a headache last this long with no other symptoms. My husband had convinced me I had a sinus infection... Could a sinus infection have not shown up on the CAT scan?...

3. Started getting my migraines whilst exercising... Safe to continue?

I have suffered migraines for years, mostly linked the onset of them with hormonal changes and with stress. My migraines generally impact my vision, and sensation (numbness and tingling) all on my right side. The headache comes about an hour later and is quite manageable... I have started getting my migraines whilst exercising. Is it ok to continue exercising whilst I am having a migraine? I am concerned that the exertion could cause something more sinister to occur neurologically. Kirra

4. Child gets Migraines always between 3 and 7 p.m. Why? What to take?

My daughter is 10 years old and has had migraines for 5 years. She gets them one to two times a month... She has had a MRI to rule out anything in the brain that would be causing them. We cannot find a food that causes it, and it doesn't always occur on school days. The only absolutely consistent trend is that they are always between 3 and 7 PM. What would cause a headache at the same time of day like that. Is there anything that can be tried to counteract them?... Becky.

5. Steroids and calcium channel blocker for 2.5 year headache?

I have had a headache since Jan. 12, 2004. I previously had regular migraines 2-3 times a month... I most recently been prescribed a protocol of a weeks worth of descending amounts of prednisone and a increase of a calcium blocker. Have the results of this treatment been successful in the past?... My headache sits on the top of my head and has spikes usually in the front and solid knots of pain in front and back. The level of pain is 7-8 daily. Thank you.

6. Topamax, Zonegran for hemiplegic Migraine prevention? Others?

I've suffered from Hemiplegic migraines for over 12 years. I am currently taking Sandomigran to prevent attacks, having been experiencing 3-4 per month recently. I have experienced weight gain, drowsiness and fluid retention on Sandomigran and have read conflicting information regarding it's use for treatment of hemiplegic. My doctor is now considering Topamax or Zonegran for treatment. Are either of these two suitable for hemiplegic? What other medications may be suitable? Many thanks, Renee.

7. Painful burning in neck and head... Pseudotumor Cerebri?

I have been experiencing painful burning that starts in the base of my neck and goes all the way over my head. This generally comes on after I have been in bed for about an hour. If I stay in bed it radiates to my back, chest and arms. As soon as I get up it starts to go away. I also have been waking up with headaches and feel like pressure in my head. I had an MRI of my brain... Could Pseudotumor Cerebri cause these symptoms?... Karen.

8. Granddaughter w/9-week Migraine. IV DHE didn't work. Help?

My Granddaughter has had a migraine for 9 weeks. She has had an MRI, CAT SCAN and Spinal Tap all being negative. Has spent 2, 3 day sessions in the hospital with IV drip (DHE) medication. The first time her pain level went from an 8 to a 3 but soon returned to a 7/8 after returning home, the 2nd session did not help at all... At this point my daughter doesn't know were to turn next. Currently she is investigating diet solutions. Where should she be going with this? Allan

9. Frova for prevention of menstrual Migraine?

I have suffered with migraines for 39 years now (I am 49 years old). I currently use either Relpax or frovatriptan for relief. My doctor recently suggested I take Frova for 2-3 days before my period. He said they have found that it can be used as a preventative... My worst migraines are about 2-3 days before my cycle and can last for days. Have you heard of using Frova for prevention? I am trying it this month, and hope to have success. I actually have great hope!...

10. Abilify for Migraine prevention?

I have been battling daily chronic migraines for 30 years now. My question is: Has there been any medical knowledge whether Abilify has been useful for daily chronic migraines? A girl I met at MHNI when I was there for the month of August 2004 under Dr. Saper/Rozen's care has finally found relief from her daily migraines with Abilify, 1/4 pill, so she has leeway in titrating the dosage if need be... Any thoughts on Abilify would be appreciated... Julie.

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