BOSTON, June 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Headache specialists meet today in Boston for the 50th annual meeting of the American Headache Society. Learn more about headache and face pain developments of the last 50 years -- including the top five advances in headaches -- and what researchers envision for the future.
Among the topics being presented, include:
-- WHY PAIN BECOMES CHRONIC: Research shows previously unknown role certain
brain cells play in triggering chronic headaches for 9 million Americans
Think that pain medication is helping you ease the throbbing of a
headache? Think again. Researchers discovered neurons are not the only
carrier of pain signals to the brain. Glial cells, which outnumber
neurons 20:1, have been shown to prompt chronic pain in a variety of
ways, such as by a virus, nerve damage or even medication. Morphine and
other opiates also activate glial cells, which mean those drugs
you're taking to alleviate pain might actually be making it worse.
-- FIRST RIGOROUS TEST OF MAGNETIC STIMULATION DEVICE SHOWS PROMISE FOR
SHORT-CIRCUITING MIGRAINES: Research shows 7 million Americans could
benefit from this treatment
Imagine simply zapping away the pain at the onset of a migraine, instead
of gulping medication and waiting for relief. Researchers are presenting
encouraging results showing a portable transcranial magnetic stimulation
device would help an estimated 39 percent of migraine sufferers. The
device, about the size and weight of a hairdryer, works by placing it to
the back of the head and pushing a button twice, sending a very brief
magnetic field pulse into the brain. The 16-site multicenter,
randomized, double blind study is the first rigorous test of the
magnetic stimulation device.
-- STIMULATING THERAPY THAT HITS A NERVE: Early Research Shows New
Implanted Device Helps Alleviate Near-Daily Migraines
Stimulating a nerve might be just the ticket to help relieve the pain of
chronic migraine sufferers. Occipital nerve stimulation, in which an
implanted neurostimulator sends electrical impulses to the central
nervous system, has been shown to help 40 percent of near-daily migraine
sufferers who don't have success with standard pain medication.
Stimulating the occipital nerve, which ignites a tingling sensation,
appears to activate mechanisms that block the perception of pain in the
|SOURCE American Headache Society|
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