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Migraine Research Foundation

Migraine Research Foundation

This news flash just landed in my email Inbox. Ann Scher, a 2007 Migraine Research Foundation grant recipient, published the results of her research in the June 24th issue of JAMA. Ann and her colleagues studied the incidence of late-in-life brain infarcts among Icelandic men and women who reported migraine in mid-life.

Most important, the researcher didn’t look at clinical evidence of stroke, but rather micro-strokes that may be symptomless, but cause changes in the brain visible on MRI. These micro-strokes may become symptomatic when they accumulate.

The researchers concluded:

 Migraine with aura in midlife was associated with late-life prevalence of cerebellar infarct-like lesions on MRI. This association was statistically significant only for women. This is consistent with the hypothesis that migraine with aura in midlife is associated with late-life vascular disease in the cerebellum and in women.

I found these results interesting because my mother, who is 87, has Migraine disease. Although she doesn’t experience acute attacks any more, she had them up until her 40s. Now, at 87, she has dementia precipitated by an accumulation of micro-strokes. Her MRI shows cerebellar changes resulting from these infarcts. Her mother experienced the same thing.

Although I don’t have Migraine with aura, I sometimes worry if I will meet the same fate. Even more reason for researchers and doctors to find new ways to prevent this chronic, progressive disease.

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Hi all,

Just a quick note on which comments I will not approve.

  1. Comments that promote or even mention products that promise Migraine relief or cures. This excludes products or medications that are undergoing or have undergone randomized, double-blind studies. Studies must have been published in peer-reviewed journals. recognized by the medical community.
  2. Comments that are intended to harass, demean, or ridicule anyone.
  3. Comments that are intended to provoke arguments with the author or anyone posting legitimate comments.
  4. Comments that contain a link promoting a service or product. This includes links within a signature. This includes links to blogs that are essentially advertisements.

I do not intend to censor legitimate comments that promote resonable discussion. Therefore, if anyone has written such a comment that was not approved, please let me know.

Blessings,

Debbie

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courtesy of the Binghamton News

courtesy of the Birmingham News

Lynne Greenberg has done an amazing job writing about her relationship with chronic pain! My words can not do it justice. Lynne uses poetry to convey the emotion and the metaphors connected to her life with pain. Milton’s Paradise Lost is apt.

Her paradise lost was a promising career as a professor of English (17th century poetry is her passion) at Hunter College, a devoted husband and two children, and a host of friends. Then one day in August 2006 the Headache appeared and has not left. I was hoping for a resolution, some treatment that would remove her pain, or at least relieve it. Now, this is not to be, but she has learned to live with pain and re-enter life.

One lesson she learned is pacing. No, not the frenetic movements accompanying my trying to outrun a Migraine. Instead, it is slowing down enough to manage it. Poet T. S. Eliot describes it as”measuring out my life with coffee spoons” (The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock). What seems like a particularly dull life contains a lesson. Pace myself. I only have so many coffee spoons. Learn to say, no; take a break; slow down. All these can seem so simple to a healthy person, but to one coping with chronic pain, they represent tough choices and sacrifices. It is a necessity, not an option.

The book is an easy read, which may tempt readers to rush through it. I caution you to resist that temptation. Take it slowly; savor each chapter; let the lessons pain teaches become part of your life.

Grace,

Debbie

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May 1, 2009 (Wow May already!) Early in 2008 Botox was associated with serious respiratory side effects and even death. Therefore, the FDA is revising the safety warnings and requiring a “Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy” or REMS on the packaging.The drug is used for a variety of conditions including cosmetic enhancement, treatment of blepharospasm and severe dystonia. It is also used for off-label conditions such as spasticity in cerebral palsy, chronic Migraine, and MS. Dosages vary with larger doses for dystonia and spasticity. Read the whole story.

This is all well and good. However, how many patients know that there are severe side effects? How many of us have even SEEN the package insert? I may be naive, but I didn’t see it nor did I think to ask.

The upside is that Allergan is seeking FDA approval for using Botoxfor chronic migraine. Nothing really will have changed, but I guess there is some comfort knowing that Botox is an approved drug for migraine.

Older news:

Topomax or topiramate has gone generic as of April 1, 2009. The FDA reported that the drug would be marketed by a host of pharmaceutical companies including Roxane Laboratories Inc., Par Pharmaceuticals Inc., Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc.,  and Barr Laboratories Inc.. One significant difference is that the prescribing information and labelling will differ from the brand name because not all of the patents and exclucivities have expired. Therefore, generic topiramate has been approved for siezures only. That is not to say that it won’t be prescribed off label for migraine prevention.

Along with Topamax becoming available in generic form, Johnson and Johnson is cutting 900 jobs in the Ortho-McNeil-Janssen unit due to a 35%sales decline for Risperdal, its biggest seller. Most of the job cuts will affect pharmaceutical representatives. So I guess having generic drugs available can be a detriment to some.

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Although this video is short, it has some value for headache/migraine sufferers who are unable to control their headaches/migraines by themselves.

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Migraine

This is an excellent overview of migraine. The spokesmen emphasize the debilitating nature of a migraine attack. I was happy to have one doctor explain allodynia: when everything hurts, even my hair. The one fault of this video is that it focuses on the headache, which is the most debilitating feature of the attack. However, the doctors failed to mention that migraine can occur without headache, but with all the other symptoms.

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