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Kerrie’s Latest Post on Migraine.com: The Many Symptoms of Migraine

Migraine is far more than “just a headache.” Skin sensitivity, difficulty finding words, inability to concentrate, constipation, stuffy nose, and dizziness are but a few of the many symptoms of migraine. Check out my full article on Migraine.com, Migraine is More Than a Headache: The Many Symptoms of Migraine.

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Migraine & Headache News From the American Academy of Neurology’s Annual Meeting

Migraine-related study findings presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting, April 12-19.

Migraine Increases Risk of Severe Skin Sensitivity and Pain
The study found that 68 percent of those who reported almost daily headaches (chronic migraine) and 63 percent of those with episodic migraines reported allodynia, the name of this intensified and unpleasant, painful skin sensitivity. Forty-two percent of people with probable migraine reported the skin pain compared to 37 percent of those with daily or tension headache.

Migraine Frequency Linked with Women’s Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
New research shows women who have weekly migraine are significantly more likely to have a stroke than those with fewer migraines or no migraine at all, but those with lower migraine frequency may face increased risk of heart attacks.

Breastfeeding While Taking Seizure Medicine Does Not Appear to Harm Children
A first of its kind study finds breastfeeding while taking certain seizure medications does not appear to harm a child’s cognitive development.

Children with Migraine at Increased Risk of Sleep Disturbances
Children with migraine are more likely to have sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea and lack of sleep, than children without migraine, according to research on the effects of headaches on children’s sleep patterns.

Overuse of Codeine, Oxycodone and Barbiturates Increases Risk of Chronic Migraine
People who overuse barbiturates and opioids, such as codeine, butalbital, and oxycodone, to treat migraine are at an increased risk of developing chronic migraine.

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Allodynia Distractions

While I was writhing in pain last week, sure that someone had covered my pillow with thumbtacks, I distracted myself by thinking about allodynia. I’d like to say that I considered the physiology of it, but I really just repeated the word mentally, thinking about how neat it sounds. Allodynia, allodynia, allodynia. It rolls right off the tongue.

About three-quarters of people with migraine have allodynia, which is the increased skin sensitivity that can feel like your hair hurts or that your jewelry is pressing into your skin. Basically, your nerves and brain become overly sensitive during a migraine. An hour or two before allodynia begins, other senses, like sight, hearing and smell, are also more keen because nerves are in a heightened state. Research indicates that migraine abortives are most effective if taken before skin sensitivity begins. If you’re interested in learning more about this phenomenon, see the ACHE article on central sensitization.

See, even silly distractions can be useful. Allodynia, allodynia, allodynia. . .