Migraine and caffeine has long been a complicated relationship. While caffeine has been used to treat acute migraine, there is also evidence that too much of it can be a bad thing for migraine patients. More studies have been done to further complicate this issue. A recent study suggests abstinence from caffeine can lead to more effective acute treatment.

crossing-crossroad-businessman-fashionA national survey of more than 3,900 individuals with migraine reflects the impact the disease has on their life beyond the pain and frustration of finding an effective treatment. Many respondents reported difficulty receiving a diagnosis when they were young and said they continued to feel stigmatized by their disease. Results released at the end of August 2016 show that 61% of respondents began experiencing symptoms of migraine before the age of 19. However, only 26% were formally diagnosed before they were an adult.

Q: I am a sufferer of SUNCT (short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache with conjunctival injection and tearing), and doctors have recommended prophylactic cranial irradiation for my small cell lung cancer. Can you tell me what effect this radiation will have on me regarding SUNCT? Is the radiation treatment an option or not and why?

lidocaineMigraineurs and those who suffer from cluster headaches may find relief from the pain with the help of a new procedure that uses lidocaine, a common topical anesthetic. When evaluating the treatment, called image-guided, intranasal sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) blocks, researchers inserted a spaghetti-sized catheter through the nasal passages of patients and administered 4% lidocaine to the sphenopalatine ganglion, a nerve bundle just behind the nose associated with migraines. This procedure was assisted with fluoroscopy, a type of imaging that could be compared to an X-ray movie.

Researchers have developed a new screening tool to help identify chronic migraine in individuals experiencing frequent headaches. Over a 3-year period, Dawn Buse, PhD, and colleagues developed a 12-item questionnaire that both patients and physicians can use to improve diagnosis and treatment of chronic migraine, which is underdiagnosed and undertreated.  It includes questions regarding symptoms, headache frequency, disability, and medication usage.