There may not be a cure for migraine disease, but today, we have more migraine management tools than ever before. This is exciting, and it helps me maintain hope, even during my worst times with migraines. Fifteen years ago, my migraines were chronic, and I spent five or six days a week in bed with migraines that nothing touched. Thankfully, much has changed in that 15 years - for all of us, not just for me.
Here are some things that have dramatically improved our options for migraine management:
- The need for true migraine and headache specialists is more recognized.
- Doctors doing residencies today have the option of doing a subspecialty residence in “headache medicine.”
- The United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties now offers an exam for doctors who want to be certified in “headache medicine,” making it at least somewhat easier to know if a doctor has the basic knowledge to be a migraine and headache specialist.
- There are over 100 medications and supplements in use for migraine prevention. That’s basis for hope. It would take over 25 years of trying a new preventive every 90 days to give all of them a fair trial.
- Some of the triptans are now FDA-approved for children as young as six-years-old.
- The Spring TMS device is now FDA-approved for the acute treatment of migraine with aura and is in clinical trials for migraine prevention.
- The Cefaly external trigeminal nerve stimulator (eTNS) has been approved by the FDA for migraine prevention.
- Triptan migraine abortive medications are being released in new delivery systems such as the Zecuity transdermal patch.
There is also promising research underway that could revolutionize migraine prevention. CGRP monoclonal antibody medications, which are currently in clinical trials, could be the only medications for migraine prevention on the market that were specifically developed for migraine prevention.
When I look at the progress of the past 15 years and think of what’s being researched now, I’m very thankful for the progress that’s been made and the current promising research* * *
This time of year, migraine or not, most of us dive into holiday planning as deeply as we’re able to. Holidays have become so commercialized that the original reasons for them often seem to be overshadowed. So, between now and January, 2016, we’re saying, “Yes,” to our readers who asked us to repeat last year’s feature project - Thankful Despite Migraine. We’ll be sharing the people in our lives for whom we’re thankful as well as things, events, and more.
Is there someone or something you’re especially thankful for this year? Would you like to share? If so, you can write your own post or post a comment below!
More "Thankful Despite Migraine:"
Teri Robert is a leading patient educator and advocate and the author of Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headaches. A co-founder of the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy and the American Headache and Migraine Association, she received the National Headache Foundation’s Patient Partners Award and a Distinguished Service Award from the American Headache Society. Teri can be found on her website, and blog, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.