Migraine Treatments Show Promising Results
A pounding head and blinding headache, loss of production at work, and family time lost are very real for people who battle migraines. The pain is severe and may last from three hours to three days and can be debilitating. But migraine patients of Neurologist, Dr. Joshua Daniel of Shore Physicians Group are having very promising results from new treatments available.
Dr. Daniel is utilizing a number of treatment options for patients suffering from migraines with very successful outcomes such as Emgality, a calcitonin gene-related peptide targeted therapy along with several others in that class. Dr. Daniel said the therapy is working great for his patients and added that he uses it as a preventative medication, It is also sometimes used as an abortive treatment, adding that it can shorten the duration as well as the severity of the headache.
What Is a Migraine?
A migraine is a headache with throbbing pain that is often severe enough to hamper daily activities and may last from four hours to three days if untreated. Migraine is one of the most prevalent diseases in the world, affecting more than 30 million American adults, according to Dr. Eric Pearlman, Senior Medical Director of Lilly Pharmaceuticals. It is three times more common in women than men. Foods, stress, and hormones can be migraine triggers, according to the American Migraine Foundation. Some patients seek the help of a neurologist for their migraines as well as cluster headaches, a less common and different kind of migraine.
Migraines vs Cluster Headaches
Migraines and cluster headaches, although both debilitating, feel and act differently, according to Dr. Daniel. While they are both headaches, migraines and cluster headaches have a different mechanism and pathology. People with migraines may experience nausea, sensitivity to light, and vomiting, whereas those with a cluster headache, which is generally felt on one side of the head, experience watery eyes and a runny nose. Some people who experience migraines can predict the onset because it’s preceded by an “aura,” or visual disturbances — flashing lights, zigzag lines, or a temporary loss of vision, for instance. By contrast, cluster headaches come on suddenly, are almost always one-sided and can be confused with sinus headaches. The pain is distinct and can feel like a hot poker in the patient’s eye, according to the American Migraine Foundation. While a classic migraine can be lengthy in duration, a cluster headache can arrive and depart swiftly over a period of time.
One very effective weapon in the war against migraine is calcitonin gene-related peptide targeted therapy. As explained by Dr. Pearlman, when a person is experiencing a migraine, the levels of CGRP increases and results in a cascade of pain and unpleasant symptoms.
Dr. Pearlman explained that as a CGRP inhibitor, Emgality binds to CGRP and interferes with its activity, therefore getting rid of or lessening the effects of the migraine. Even more positive news for migraine sufferers is that there is not just one treatment, rather there are other options as well. When asked if there is a lot of encouraging news for people suffering from migraines and other debilitating headaches, Dr. Daniel said, “Absolutely, we have so many treatments now available. I started Shore Medical Center’s migraine infusion center and do probably the most Botox treatments for migraines in the area and now can offer all of these new migraine medications. We are finding success with not only meds but we utilize devices for migraines as well.”
Migraines are individualized and vary patient to patient there is no one-size-fits-all treatment plan. Dr. Daniel treats strokes, headaches, seizures, neuropathy and other neurological conditions. He is also fluent in Urdu and Punjabi.