Get the Most out of Your Migraine Summit Library

Many of you purchased the Migraine World Summit library of videos, transcripts and resources last year and this year – others of you are newcomers. Here’s how you can get the most out of one of the most cutting-edge resources available to migraine patients today.

First, if you haven’t specifically invested in this year’s summit, you can do so here. At the moment you can’t access this from the main page of the summit, so you’ll need to use the special link.

You’ll be presented with three options. The most expensive option isn’t necessary unless you want a copy of the summit actually delivered to your home. Otherwise, you can get an All Access Pass (which includes the entire summit, plus access to the support group) or the VIP Access Pass, which includes access to curated resources (and yes, these are updated or entirely new from last year!). I opted for the VIP Access Pass.

Once you have the pass, you can log in. There you’ll see the member’s portal:
Migraine World Summit 2017 Member Portal
First, click on the SUPPORT GROUP in the top menu. This will take you to Facebook where you can join the group. You’re not automatically in – you need to take this step.

After that, you’ll see that you have access to all the videos from the summit. When you go to the videos, you’ll see the speakers and length of each video, and you can watch them, re-watch them, watch part of them – anytime!

And YES – you can even download the videos to watch on your computer or device (if you want to – but it’s easy to watch online). (So again – unless you have a really slow connection, you won’t want to opt for the most expensive pass – the Boxed Set Plus Pass). Stick with the other two and save your money!)

On the video pages you’ll also find links to more resources, and audio version (sweet!) and even a transcript! No, you don’t have to stare at a video to get this information!

(Sorry, I just really love the transcripts and audio. I don’t need to stare at my screen any more than I really have to.)

Please note that not all of the transcripts are done yet – expect them in a week or two.

You’ll also see in the top menu a TRIGGER GUIDE, with fact sheets on various migraine triggers (also easily downloadable!).

There is also a TREATMENT DIRECTORY with some well known migraine treatments – those treatments mentioned in the summit in particular.

The extra brand new guides (emergency guide, nutrition guide, etc) will be ready in a few days and will be added then at no extra charge to you.

If you have further questions, you can either access the live chat or click FAQs. At the bottom of the FAQ page (make sure the FAQs don’t have the answer to your question!) there is a form you can use.

Remember, there isn’t a team of thousands running the support – give them a little time.

Speaking of which, did you know that there were 60,000 people involved in the summit, that the campaign reached over a million, so far? Not including those who weren’t able to watch the summit, but are purchasing the summit library? That’s a lot of people – this thing is growing fast!

I hope that helps get you started. If you haven’t invested in this resource yet, I highly recommend it. Just click here to see your options.

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A Nail in the Head: Short-lasting Unilateral Neuralgiform Headache Attacks

An article with “short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache attacks” in the title isn’t necessarily going to catch your attention, but if you’ve experienced this type of headache, you know it’s not something that can be ignored.

Earlier this week we saw a video of Rev. David Wakefield, who has both chronic cluster headache and SUNCT, a form of the headache we’ll be talking about today. If you missed the video, see New Device Approved by FDA to Fight Cluster Headache (video).

SUNCT and SUNAWhat is officially called short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache attacks is actually one type of chronic daily headache. The headaches last only seconds or minutes (as long as ten minutes), but they are very painful and hit you at least once a day. The pain is on one side of the head, and the eye on that side will usually get red and watery.

As the title to this article implies, the pain is often described as “stabbing”, like a nail in the head.

With the red eye and tearing, the diagnosis is usually SUNCT, which stands for short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache attacks with conjunctival injection and tearing. That’s the version that Rev. Wakefield deals with.

If there is tearing (watery eye) or red eye, or neither, the diagnosis may be SUNA, or short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache attacks with cranial autonomic symptoms. These headaches are accompanied by other symptoms that may occur in SUNA or SUNCT, such as congestion, facial sweating, and drooping or swelling or the eyelid.

Because of the congestion and tearing, SUNCT or SUNA may actually be misdiagnosed as sinus headache (more commonly, migraine is misdiagnosed as sinus headache – see Sinus Headache – Did You Really Beat It?).

Technically, the condition is considered “chronic” when it continues for a year or more, with less than a month pain-free.

Treatment of SUNCT and SUNA

There are some treatments that seem to help some people, but there have not been enough clinical trials to come up with consistent solutions (if they exist – treatment may be a very individual thing, especially until our understanding of the condition grows). Because the attacks are so brief, abortive treatment (stopping individual attacks) is not a major focus. Intravenous lidocaine or a phenytoin injection are sometimes used to try to stop a series of attacks.

To prevent attacks, medications such as lamotrigine, carbamazepine, gabapentin, and topiramate seem to help some patients, and nerve blocks may provide temporary relief.

Sometimes a certain cause is found for these symptoms, in which case treatment will vary. For example, compression of the trigeminal nerve or a structural lesion.

For more information, see:

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New Device Approved by FDA to Fight Cluster Headache (video)

Last month the announcement was made that gammaCore, a non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation (nVNS), was approved by the FDA for the treatment of episodic cluster headache.

We’ve been watching the development of gammaCore for the last few years. It’s already been approved in quite a few countries around the world, but this is the first approval in the United States.

This device has shown promise not only in the treatment of cluster headache, but also migraine. Although this recent approval was for episodic cluster, there is some evidence that vagus nerve stimulation may help patients with chronic cluster and chronic migraine.

This particular device is used directly by patients, and is hand-held – small enough to carry along. It’s non-invasive and painless – simply held against your neck for 90 seconds.

Using the gammaCore device

Using the gammaCore device

If you would to see a video showing exactly how gammaCore is used, see More Research on Vagus Nerve Stimulation (and a video).

At the time of writing this post, this device is not yet available in the United States. However, you can check out the gammaCore US website for updates.

Meanwhile, here is a video from a chronic cluster headache sufferer (he also suffers from SUNCT), explaining how he has found gammaCore helpful.

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Migraine because your Weight isn’t “Normal”?

It’s interesting to see stories that hit the headlines about migraine that are almost – useless.

Maybe I should rephrase that. The information is useful in some way, but it’s not really the amazing life-changing information that the news outlets may be looking for.

So Men’sHealth says,”Your Weight Might Be Giving You a Headache” with the subtitle But can slimming down help?

And get this one, from the DailyMail – Why being a healthy weight is ONLY way to beat migraine (I read the article – I’m still not sure why it’s the “ONLY” way – no explanation about why people with a healthy weight have migraine, or why people have found other solutions – but – it does – catch your attention!).

There were many, many articles posted. So I guess we all need to get healthy, and then our migraine attacks will disappear.

So what is the actual news?

The research was published in the journal Neurology, analyzing 12 studies related to migraine. Adjusting for age and gender, the researchers set out to see if weight was a factor. And of course, it was.

People who were obese (BMI 30 or higher) did indeed have an increased risk – they were 27% more likely to have migraine.

Underweight? With a BMI of less than 18.5, people had a 13% higher risk of migraine than people of normal weight.

(By the way, here’s a handy tool to calculate your body mass index (BMI).)

Obese or Skinny ?Is this useful information? Yes, but it does not necessarily mean that losing/gaining weight will cure migraine.

You’ve already figured it out, because readers of Headache and Migraine News are smart. Why were underweight/overweight people more likely to have migraine disease? Just because their weight was off? Or could there be an underlying problem causing both? Is it possible that people who have chronic migraine have trouble getting proper exercise? Could medications be causing weight fluctuation? What if treating the migraine first would actually help you reach a normal weight?

The study author, B. Lee Peterlin, is also smart, and made this observation:

It’s not clear how body composition could affect migraine. Adipose tissue, or fatty tissue, secretes a wide range of molecules that could play a role in developing or triggering migraine. It’s also possible that other factors such as changes in physical activity, medications, or other conditions such as depression play a role in the relationship between migraine and body composition.
[Both Too Much, Too Little Weight Tied to Migraine]

Of course, we’ve talked about migraine and weight gain before. And yes, there’s no denying that proper nutrition and an active lifestyle will help your health overall – and are great migraine-fighters.

Although there is no proof that you should just lose/gain weight and you’ll be fine, there is good evidence that treating the whole person will help with migraine and a host of other issues.

In other words, as we say regularly around here – treat the migraine (that might just help you get to a proper weight!) and treat the weight issue (which may actually help alleviate migraine!). Be aware of the health issues involved. Don’t just focus in one one thing. Focus on general over-all health.

I’m sorry if your Aunt Martha (who always nags you about your weight) just sent you an unbalanced news story about migraine and weight. Don’t tell her off again, and don’t jump on the scale and go into a sudden panic. But do be aware that treating migraine is more than just taking a pill. It’s about fighting for your overall health.

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10 Headache and Migraine News Highlights from the past 3 Months (April 2017 edition)

Welcome to this month’s edition of your favourite posts from the last three months! The most popular posts come first, with the three in bold having the most “likes” on Facebook. Hope you find the useful!

  1. Women, Migraine, and Stroke: The link between migraine and stroke is nothing new, but recent research is making it a hot topic once again…
  2. Candesartan for Migraine: Recently a HeadWay subscriber mentioned a treatment that has been working well for her…
  3. Yes, it matters which Magnesium supplement you use…: I don’t usually write too many personal notes here at Headache and Migraine News, because, after all, the focus is on the news…
  4. Migraine and TMD: A Complex Relationship (that should not be ignored): Although it’s not news that there’s a relationship between migraine and TMD, it might be a surprise just how complex the relationship is….
  5. A “Smart” Non-Drug Arm Patch to Fight Migraine: A new form of migraine treatment is in the testing phase – a new kind of migraine fighting patch…
  6. Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) for Migraine: Vitamin B2, otherwise known as riboflavin, has long been a recommended supplement for migraine…
  7. A Quick Update on Cefaly for Migraine: The Cefaly device is a non-invasive, migraine-fighting external trigeminal nerve stimulator (e-TNS) device used daily to prevent migraine attacks…
  8. Vestibular Migraine: What’s New: Dizzy? Maybe have some migraine symptoms? It could be vestibular migraine…
  9. The Unexpected Reason You Should Pay Attention to the Migraine World Summit: There’s a very important event coming up that you need to know about – The Migraine World Summit 2017! Why (you may ask)?
  10. Chemotherapy Headache: Chemotherapy headache is very common in cancer patients, although the chemo itself is not always the cause, or only cause, of the pain…
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