Monday, August 25, 2008

Migraine Relief?

I've mentioned before that I suffer from migraines. There are different types of migraines and I have the kind that almost always starts with an aura which includes various visual disturbances such as "swiss cheese vision" (multiple blind spots) and silver, sparkly rivers. I also sometimes have hemisensory symptoms such as tingling and numbness in my body on the opposite side of the headache.

The aura occurs first and then after it subsides, the headache pain comes on. The hemisensory symptoms can occur during the aura or the headache and sometimes in the prodromal phase before any other symptoms occur - sometimes days before I get an aura and head pain.

Many migraine medications (including all of the triptans) are contraindicated in patients with hemisensory symptoms as the medications can cause stroke in those patients. That limits my options for migraine relief.

There's a new device coming on the market perhaps next year that provides drug-free relief to some migraine sufferers who experience migraine with aura. It provides an electrical pulse that zaps the migraine response out of the brain's nerves (that's the technical description) before the blood vessels can dilate, causing the headache pain.

Here is a local news story about it.

You can be sure that I'll keep a close eye on this one.

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