Tuesdays New York Times article Scientists Cast Misery of Migraine in a New Light highlights research that indicates that much of what we think we know about migriane headaches is innacurate.
Dr. Daniel Kantor, Director of the Comprehensive MS Center, Neuroscience Institute, University of Florida Health Science Center, shares his insight on the findings and tells us what this research can reveal about diagnosing and treating migraines in the future.
Dr. Daniel Kantor:
Jane Brody's Personal Health column in Science Times, entitled, Scientists Cast Misery of Migraine in a New Light, addresses many of the common misconceptions about migraines and their treatment. Near the beginning of her column, she updates the reader, "From long-maligned dietary triggers to the underlying cause of the headaches themselves, longstanding beliefs have been brought into question by recent studies." While this may seem like new information to many patients and their primary care physicians, headache doctors have been touting this for many years now.
Chocolate, once thought to be a migraine trigger, is now thought to be related to migraines in a completely different way. Dr. Stephen Silberstein, President of the American Headache Society and his protege, Dr. Daniel Kantor of the University of Florida in Jacksonville, have been trying for years to get the message across that chocolate is part of the prodrome (precursor) to a migraine. Immediately before a migraine, many patients have cravings for quick, sweet treats, and chocolate is the most easily sought after quick snack (and requires no preparation).
The issue of so-called sinus headaches, has also been debunked for many years. Migraines can be on both sides of the head and can cause swelling of the sinuses, cause patients pain where their sinuses are. True sinus headaches are fairly rare and should be accompanied by fevers and pus draining from the sinuses. Too often, patients and their doctors mistake migraines for sinus headaches, and patients undergo unnecessary and ineffective sinus surgery.