Understanding Migraine

Do you know that Migraine effects more people across the world than diabetes, asthma and epilepsy combined?

Following a fascinating day of lectures from Migraine experts, I am delighted to share news of amazing progress and developments in the field with you, along with providing a better understanding of the condition and treatments which are now available.

This week I was delighted to attend The Scottish Migraine Meeting at Stirling University, where a world class faculty delivered a superb day of post graduate education for healthcare professionals from across the country.

It is probably some twenty years since I last sat in a lecture hall listening to the pathophysiology of Migraine and I was amazed at the progress and developments in the field.

Did you know that Migraine effects more people across the world than diabetes, asthma and epilepsy combined? This equates to the total population of North America and Europe combined!

From an industry and economic point of view, Migraine costs the UK £8.8 BILLION in indirect costs every year from loss of earnings due to sick leave.

Dr Phil Holland from Kings College London gave the opening lecture on the pathophysiology of Migraine and how our understanding has completely changed in the last 30 years. We now understand quite clearly that Migraine is a condition of sensory overload to the central nervous system and is not a condition of the blood vessels.

Our best treatments for Migraine attacks now all revolve around the Calcitonin Related Gene Peptide and these include Triptans, Gepant therapies and Monoclonal Antibodies.

Did you know that Migraine comes in phases and that all migraine attacks have a “PREMONITORY PHASE” which is best described as a 2-day period before a Migraine attack where the sufferer just doesn’t feel right. So, we can predict when a sufferer is going to be heading into a Migraine attack before the headache actually starts.

• “Aura” only effects 25-30% of sufferers.
• Chocolate IS NOT a trigger for Migraine.
• Having a stiff neck is the most commonly reported associated symptom alongside Migraine.

Lifestyle and dietary measures can play a massive role in reducing your likelihood of having Migraines, and Dr Katy Munro from The Migraine Trust gave an excellent chat on supplementations, neurostimulators and other non CRGP drug treatments.

Greater Occipital Nerve Blocks are a useful and effective adjunct to use when patients are locked in to a difficult headache cycle and need help to breakout of their pain (Please contact me directly to enquire about GON Blocks)

We finished the day with Dr Sigi Joseph lecturing on Migraine in Women. Lots of really important issues to understand in this specific topic but most importantly Migraine is 3 to 4 times more likely to effect women and is most likely to affect them around the menopause.

A thoroughly enjoyable day with an engaging faculty and lots of friends from across healthcare in Scotland. My main take home message is that Migraine is a common debilitating condition but there are lots of treatments out there. With a 30 to 45 minute consultation as standard at The Cademuir Clinic, I have time to understand your Migraine and develop a treatment plan that will leave you better off than before.

Migraine Trust, The National Migraine Centre, Scottish National Migraine Guidelines.