FDA approves novel preventive treatment for migraine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Aimovig (erenumab-aooe) for the preventive treatment of migraine in adults. The treatment is given by once-monthly self-injections. Aimovig is the first FDA-approved preventive migraine treatment in a new class of drugs that work by blocking the activity of calcitonin gene-related peptide, a molecule that is involved in migraine attacks.

“Aimovig provides patients with a novel option for reducing the number of days with migraine,” said Eric Bastings, M.D., deputy director of the Division of Neurology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “We need new treatments for this painful and often debilitating condition.”

Patients often describe migraine headache pain as an intense pulsing or throbbing pain in one area of the head. Additional symptoms include nausea and/or vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound. Approximately one-third of affected individuals can predict the onset of a migraine because it is preceded by an aura – transient sensory or visual disturbances that appear as flashing lights, zig-zag lines or a temporary loss of vision. People with migraine tend to have recurring attacks triggered by a number of different factors, including stress, hormonal changes, bright or flashing lights, lack of food or sleep and diet. Migraine is three times more common in women than in men and affects more than 10 percent of people worldwide.

The effectiveness of Aimovig for the preventive treatment of migraine was evaluated in three clinical trials. The first study included 955 participants with a history of episodic migraine and compared Aimovig to placebo. Over the course of six months, Aimovig-treated patients experienced, on average, one to two fewer monthly migraine days than those on placebo. The second study included 577 patients with a history of episodic migraine and compared Aimovig to placebo. Over the course of three months, Aimovig-treated patients experienced, on average, one fewer migraine day per month than those on placebo. The third study evaluated 667 patients with a history of chronic migraine and compared Aimovig to placebo. In that study, over the course of three months, patients treated with Aimovig experienced, on average, 2 ½ fewer monthly migraine days than those receiving placebo.

The most common side effects that patients in the clinical trials reported were injection site reactions and constipation.

The FDA granted the approval of Aimovig to Amgen Inc.

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

What is CBT? The term cognitive denotes the act of knowing or recognizing our own experiences. This means that cognitive therapy is an organized systematical treatment program that teaches people how to change their thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes: all these which play a very important role in harmful emotional states.
The very basic idea of cognitive therapy is that the way we think influences the way we feel. Therefore, changing how we think can help us change how we feel. This can lead to improvements in moods, anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) for example. This also helps improve physical conditions such as migraines and pain syndromes.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has six phases. Phase one is called assessment or psychological assessment. Phase two is denoted reconceptualization. Phase three is where skills acquisition is learned. Phase four is where the individual focuses on skills consolidation and application training. Phase five is for generalization and maintenance. Finally phase six is for post-treatment assessment follow-up.
Come see if Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is for you.

Migraine Medications: Acute or Preventive

Do you know the difference between acute versus preventive migraine medications?

Acute
Taken either at the onset or after migraine pain has began
You can obtain either over the counter or by prescription
Taken only as needed

Preventive
Taken daily to reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks
Can prevent headache days before they even start
Available by prescription

Taking too many acute medications can result in a condition called “medication overuse headaches.” This means MORE HEADACHES!

It is important to talk to your doctor about medication options that will provide the best relief and quality of life for your migraine headaches. Please call and speak to one of our care providers regarding your medication options.

Anxiety and Stress plus Migraines

These three things may not seem like they have much in common, however they are extremely closely linked. Migraines can cause stress and anxiety, while conversely anxiety and/or stress are common triggers that can cause migraines. Treating one of the conditions may help the other, however the best option is to treat both until you feel your have the pain under control.
Anxiety is a prominent trigger in life for many things, migraines being a tremendously common effect. There can be good and bad anxiety, but your body does not necessarily distinguish the difference. You may be very anxious about work stress, life changes, or relationship struggles which can cause severe migraines debilitating your body. This is common and the type of anxiety that most people think of as the culprit for ‘that darn migraine that does not stop!’
However, there is good anxiety that is just as powerful in causing that migraine. Have you ever been excited about that upcoming trip; so excited in fact that it is all you can think about? Well until your head hurts so bad you have a migraine. What about that new love in your life such as a new partner or a new hobby that you are so excited by that you are consumed with this love. It is so exhilarating and fantastic that you can’t stop thinking about it, correct? Until you have that horrible migraine and can’t figure out why.
The answer to both things is ANXIETY!! Both good (exciting) anxiety, and bad (worrisome) anxiety are culprits. So, let us at The Manhattan Center for Headache and Neurology help you. Call and schedule a consultation today!

Weather: Migraine and Headache Trigger

Weather – changes in humidity, temperature, and air pressure, is one of the most common migraine triggers and one of the hardest to control.

Sunny, warm weather, gets you out and about, but can result in heat exhaustion. Dehydration plays a large role in heat exhaustion. When you become overheated, you can’t sweat enough to keep your body temperature cool.

You may develop a headache or even trigger a migraine from heat exhaustion. Along with a pounding headache, you may also notice other symptoms, including muscle cramps, a rapid pulse, nausea and/or vomiting, fatigue and cool, clammy skin even when you’re in the sun.

If you are starting to develop these symptoms, it is best to stop what you’re doing, find a shaded area and drink some water.

For unrelenting headaches or migraines triggered by heat, the Manhattan Center for Headache and Neurology offers acute IV treatment interventions including IV Fluids for hydration, medications for nausea and vomiting, and other headache/migraine relief medications.

For more information regarding acute IV treatment interventions for intractable headaches or migraines, please call and speak to one of care providers.

Biofeedback Therapy for Headaches, Anxiety and Stress

Biofeedback Therapy is a technique that measures bodily functions, like breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, skin temperature, and muscle tension. It teaches you how to alter these functions through relaxation or imagery.

A form of complementary and alternative medicine, biofeedback therapy is a treatment that enables you to improve your health using the power of your mind. The way biofeedback works is that certain involuntary body functions are measured, and a biofeedback specialist helps you gain control over those involuntary body functions. Some of these functions include: anxiety, headache, blood pressure and stress.

Headaches are one of the best-studied biofeedback uses. Muscle tension and stress can trigger migraines and other types of headaches, and can make headache symptoms worse. There is good evidence that biofeedback therapy can relax muscles and ease stress to reduce both the frequency and severity of headaches. Biofeedback seems to be especially beneficial for headaches when it’s combined with medications.
Several different relaxation exercises are used in biofeedback therapy, including: Deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, Guided imagery, Mindfulness meditation.

Anxiety and Stress. Anxiety and stress relief are the most common uses of biofeedback. Biofeedback lets you become more aware of your body’s responses when you’re stressed and anxious. Then you can learn how to control those responses.
Several different relaxation exercises are used in biofeedback therapy, including:
Deep breathing
Progressive muscle relaxation — alternately tightening and then relaxing different muscle groups
Guided imagery — concentrating on a specific image (such as the color and texture of an orange) to focus your mind and make you feel more relaxed
Mindfulness meditation — focusing your thoughts and letting go of negative emotions

The Manhattan Center for Headache and Neurology invites you to call and schedule a consultation for biofeedback therapy!

HEADACHE MEETING #2, MASSAGE AND HEADACHE: TUESDAY, 4/24 AT 6 PM!!

We invite you to join our 2nd headache meeting,
Bring a friend!
You are not alone when dealing with this disabling condition.
Find out how massage can reduce the intensity of your headache during an episode!
Our experts have valuable advice to offer!
Wear comfy clothing and layers if you are planning to volunteer for the massage demo!
We recommend a tank top under your shirt or blouse.
Refreshments and finger food served!!!

Manhattan Center for Headache and Neurology
108 West 39th Street suite 1601, 16th floor
NY, NY 100118
RSVP (please call and reserve your seat), 646-559-4659

Headache Meeting #2, Massage and Headaches

We invite you to join our 2nd headache meeting,
Bring a friend!
You are not alone when dealing with this disabling condition.
Find out how massage can reduce the intensity of your headache during an episode!
Our experts have valuable advice to offer!
Refreshments and finger food served!!!

Manhattan Center for Headache and Neurology
108 West 39th Street suite 1601, 16th floor
NY, NY 100118
RSVP (please call and reserve your seat), 646-559-4659

Post Concussion Headaches

Did you know that a headache is one of the most common symptom after a concussion?

A concussion is an injury to the brain caused from trauma and can result from a direct hit to the head by an object or the ground, or from a violent shake of the head and neck such as a whiplash injury.

Fortunately, the symptoms after a simple concussion may resolve within a week for most people, but some people may have headaches and other symptoms for several weeks or even months after an injury.

For these chronic headaches and other symptoms, it is important to work with your medical care provider such as a concussion specialist and/or neurologist regarding a plan to help you or your loved one return to health as soon as possible.

For any concerns regarding post concussion headaches or other symptoms, call us at the Manhattan Center for Headache and Neurology and one of our expert providers would be happy to assist you with an individualized care plan to improve your health.