Two Kansas City ophthalmologists report on an inexpensive, effective way to treat migraine: widely available beta blocker eye drops, usually used to treat glaucoma. In the course of their research, Carl V. Migliazzo, MD, and John C. Hagan, III, MD, worked with 7 female patients who used the eye drops at the first sign of migraine symptoms. The subjects used this treatment over a multi-year period, and the patients reported nearly complete pain relief with the drops and few side effects.

  cocaine As many as 21 million people across the world use cocaine, and headache ranks near the top of the list of health ailments that result from its use. To better understand cocaine-induced headache, researchers at the IRCCS San Raffaele Pisana in Rome, Italy, studied 80 patients at a drug treatment facility. Ninety percent reported current headache — a higher percentage than previous research has indicated.

Allergies and hay fever are unpleasant enough on their own, but now they — and the nasal symptoms that accompany them — appear to be linked to more frequent and more disabling migraine attacks, according to a recent NHF-sponsored study. Researchers, led by Vincent Martin, MD, a professor of medicine at the University of Cincinnati and co-director of the university's Headache and Facial Pain Program, found that two-thirds of migraineurs reported suffering from allergies and were 33 percent more likely to have more frequent migraines than those without allergies.

Individuals who suffer from Gulf War illness (GWI) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) often share many of the same symptoms, including migraine. Researchers from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. recently suggested that the disorders may share a central nervous system dysfunction that could account for the chronic pain, fatigue, and cognitive dysfunction (sometimes described as brain fog) that Gulf War illness, chronic fatigue, and migraine sufferers have in common.

A rare and severe form of migraine was in the spotlight recently when Danny Spond, a Notre Dame linebacker, had to stop playing football after struggling with hemiplegic migraine for the last year. 120901-N-WL435-990   Spond hopes to continue as a linebacker coach for the Fighting Irish, but his departure and a statement from team physician, Jennifer Malcolm, MD, indicated just how disabling this form of migraine can be.

In a recent study, acupressure wrist bands were effective in relieving migraine-related nausea, one of the most disabling symptoms associated with this headache disorder. Researchers in Germany evaluated Sea-Band acupressure bands in 41 migraineurs who had experienced migraine attacks for an average of 26 years. The average intensity of pain was 7.1 on a 0 to 10 scale, and the average level of nausea was 6.2.

  Genetics1   Researchers recently identified 12 genetic regions associated with susceptibility to migraine, including five areas discovered for the first time. Eight of the regions were found in or near genes involved with controlling brain circuitries, and two of the regions were associated with genes that are responsible for maintaining healthy brain tissue.