Migraine & Headache Research News

Take a look at a few recent developments in the world of migraine and headache treatment.

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Migraine—A new smartphone-based relaxation app called RELAXaHEAD may help migraine sufferers. The app, developed by New York University School of Medicine and Irody Inc., a Boston-based software firm, uses relaxation techniques to help relieve stress, via progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) therapy. People participating in the study who used the app longer and more frequently experienced about four fewer migraine attacks per month. Those who used it less frequently still experienced two few migraines per month.

Headache—Some recent headache research suggests that headache with unknown causes may be a sign of depression. A total of 56% of patients in accepted into the study due to visiting the emergency room for headache were determined to have depression, with 8% reported as “severe.” The study concluded that those who visited the emergency room who had a headache for more than 24 hours and no response to medication are under high risk for depression.

Cluster Headache—A recent small cluster headache study showed that Zonisamide, a sulfonamide anticonvulsant may be effective in treating chronic and episodic cluster headache. Approximately 70% of patients in the study showed a response along with low adverse events. The study concluded that further research is warranted.

Episodic Cluster Headache—Emgality, a drug for migraine prevention, has recently been FDA approved for episodic cluster headache. In a clinical trial, those receiving the drug experienced nearly nine fewer cluster attacks on average compared to just over five in a placebo group. The drug works by prohibiting the activity of the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), which may play a role in migraine and other headache disorders. The drug is administered by self injection. It did not show effectiveness in chronic cluster headache disorder.

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Stephanie Jones