American Headache Society Scientific Meeting: Part I

This year is the first time I’ve missed the annual scientific meeting of the American Headache Society in years and it was due to a family emergency.  I have had time to review all the presentations and I wanted to highlight, what I think is the most significant for patients.

1) A new pathway for migraine initiation was found, called the p2x7-panx1 pore complex. It may be an easy target, in other words a weak spot in the link, for future treatments of preventing from coming and stopping them after they start. This could take 5-10 years to bear fruit.

2) One study suggested that infantile colic may be a version of migraine.  That  needs to be confirmed by further research.

3) Further evidence was presented that having migraine is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease in women.

4) More research suggesting tiny nerve fibers link the muscles in the scalp directly to the lining of the bran (dura), which could help explain how Botox and other scalp nerve blocks work.

5) A study suggest that 74% of headache sufferers were satisfied with the relief they got from nerve blocks around the head.

6) More evidence that an headache specific infusion center gives higher patient satisfaction levels for the acute treatment of severe headaches than emergency rooms (that is why we are developing an infusion center).

7) The spheoncath procedure (which we now do) was studied as a preventative tool and to stop prolonged migraines in pregnant women. It was show to be effective and safe.

8) A study showed that only 4.5% of patients with chronic migraine had the least appropriate treatments. That means that 95.5% have virtually no appropriate treatments.

8) A study showed that the warning about not using triptans with basilar migraine is not necessary as there is no increased risk in those groups.

I will be back tomorrow with the last half of this report.

J. Michael Jones, MPAS-C