Posts Tagged ‘research’

I have been blogging about Migraine disease (MD) since March and I just realized that I have solidified my goals for this blog. In my Introduction, Ididn’t think the blog would be all about MD or my journey with it. But, now I see that my intention is to encourage you, educate you and your support team, and empower you as you travel through life with MD.

I am a closet writer, a researcher, and I have a story to tell. It is a story full of pitfalls, bumps, and mistakes, but I believe that it is a story you can learn from and appreciate how far Migraine research and treatments have come in the last 35 years. Consider the triptan breakthrough in 1992 and the paradigm shifts from pallative care to treatment to prevention. We now have the ability to prevent Migraine attacks with medications like Topamax and Depakote!
I blog about Migraine disease so you can find support and information at a click of a mouse. I want Down the Rabbit Hole: A Journey of a Migraineur to become a library of resources and information on the latest treatments. I want to arm you with enough accurate information about MD so that you can be an active partner in your treatment team. I would like you to learn from my mistakes, to take ownership of your health, and to live as well as possible.

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Greetings! Several of us migraine bloggers have drawn up a petition in response to the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Many migraineurs are affected by fluorescent lighting and often suffer in the workplace and in public places. I somewhat understand because I know a dying fluorescent bulb will trigger a migraine for me because of the flickering lights. I cannot bear to be in a dark room with the TV on for the same reason.

There are many questions raised by this new law: Does the law ban or phase out incandescent light bulbs? Does the law mandate or encourage the use of Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs). After wading through all the verbiage in the law itself (official name Public Law 110-140), and despite what the media or the government would like us to believe, I have discovered that the answer to those two questions is: NO, the law neither bans or phases out the availability of incandescent light bulbs nor does it encourage or mandate the use of CFLs.

What does the law do? The law requires that light bulbs, among other items, be more energy efficient than they are now. For example, a 100 watt incandescent light bulb produces 1700 lumens (a measure of light) and uses 100 watts of electricity. By January 1, 2012 light bulbs that produce this much light (1490-2600 lumens) can draw a maximum of 72 watts. Light bulbs that produce lesser amounts of light (eg. 60-watt, 40-watt) will be required to draw no more than 43 watts of electricity by January 1, 2014. Most of the light bulbs in my house are 60 watt and 40 watt, so there are 6 years before this law will affect me.

What are our options? Right now, there are 2 types of light bulb that fits in standard light fixtures. One option for migraineurs is Philips’ Halogena Energy Saver/Energy Advantage halogen screw-base lamp. These halogen lights are offered in 40w, 70w, and 90w versions to replace the current 60w, 75w, and 90-100w incandescent light bulbs. The 60w and 70w versions are available at Home Depot. They are fully dimmable and are available in different shapes for uses in track lighting, recessed lights, as well as floor lamps and desk lamps. There may be a 10% decrease in light output as compared to incandescent lights.
However, there are reasons to pursue research in developing an energy efficient incandescent light bulb. CFLs are not dimmable and they contain mercury, which can produce a hazard. Energystar.gov outlines the procedure to clean up a broken bulb, but I find it extremely time consuming and nearly requiring HAZMAT capabilities. Not terribly practical for families with children. According to Craig DiLouie of the Lighting Controls Association, General Electric is in the process of developing an energy efficient incandescent light bulb. This bulb is slated for market in 2010. Mr. DiLouie’s White Paper surrounding this topic is worth reading.

What should be the migraine community’s response? I thinkd our response should be twofold. One of the major objections from the green community (eg. The Daily Green and the Ecogeek) is that there are no studies that show there is an association between migraine attacks and CFLs. My search for articles from peer reviewed journals came up empty. Therefore, we should encourage researchers to study the relationship between CFLs and migraine. Then we could offer hard data to our critics.
Also, we should actively encourage the development of energy efficient incandescent light bulbs. Let’s make sure that the incandescent bulb will not become a dinosaur.

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