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This Time Last Year, March 11-17

Posts from The Daily Headache, March 11-17, 2006

Reporting on Narcotics & Headache: What a Mess
A look at an article in ABC’s three-part series on migraine that I was really upset by. Reviewing the article, I saw something that now makes a lot of sense to me:

“. . . Long-term use of narcotics can actually magnify headache pain and could render other treatments ineffective.

“‘Not only does it deplenish your own natural painkillers,’ he said, ‘but it destroys parts of the brain that are responsible for fighting pain.'”

The story clearly wasn’t as awful as my gut reaction indicated.

Preliminary Results for PFO Closure Trial
The MIST study examining whether closing a hole in the heart is an effective migraine treatment reported mixed results, depending on the journalist’s perspective.

ABC on Migraine: It Gets Worse
The final installment of the series looked at a nasal surgery that some are using to treat migraine. This same surgery was ineffective for me (and for many others, I have since learned), so I’m skeptical of it. The article’s author does describe unfavorable opinions of the surgery.

Toxicity of Tylenol
Acetaminophen is far from benign: Overdoses of products that contain acetaminophen account for 40 to 50% of all acute liver failure cases each year in the United States.

Healthcare Provider of the Year
The National Headache Foundation‘s call for entries for this award. I can’t find who won last year, but I did see that nominations were requested for this year — but were due yesterday. Sorry, it’s the first I heard about it.

Pill-Taking Woes Resolved
A handy dandy gadget for pill swallowing ease.

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Nasal Surgery for Headache Revisited

WNBC reported yesterday about a nasal surgery that may help headache sufferers. But don’t get excited about a new treatment yet. It’s not new information, just the same information presented in a different way. The journal article appeared in the June issue of Cephalalgia and was widely reported in July.

Here’s the gist of the study. People who have places inside their nasal passages or sinuses that touch each other may have headaches triggered or caused by those contact areas. In a study of 21 patients, 18 who had surgery to correct the contact areas say that their headaches improved by 25% or more after the operation.

In the study, a participant only qualified for the surgery if his or her headache was relieved when the contact point was numbed with local anesthesia. Researchers said that this was a good predictor of whether the surgery would help the patient. I had the surgery for headache in March 2000 with no success, but the doctor did not test the area beforehand.

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Nasal Surgery May Ease Headaches

People who have places inside their nasal passages or sinuses that touch each other may have headaches triggered or caused by those contact areas. In a recent study, 18 of the 21 participants who had surgery to correct the contact areas say that their headaches improved by 25% or more after the operation.

Read the full article: Nasal Surgery May Ease Migraines for Some