Thursday, 6 June 2013

MHAM Day 6 - Premonition

Today's prompt is about looking at the future of migraine treatment.
This is a little harder to talk about as I don't sadly have a crystal ball (or Trelawney to tutor me) or a handy time machine (though if The Doctor is reading, perhaps he could take me for a spin?)

Instead I can only look at what I have seen in the time I've been following migraine research (which to my failing hasn't been for long) and try to see where it's going.

Firstly though, let me preface by saying that migraine treatment is very under-funded compared to other chronic medical conditions.  It is more prevalent than diabetes, epilepsy and asthma combined affecting more then 8 million people in the UK alone and yet receives very little funding for the number of people affected.
Consequently, the medicinal treatments that we have available to us as migraine sufferers are almost entirely drugs which were created to treat other ailments which they found help migraineurs; triptans are the exception to this which are used to treat a migraine attack but it isn't fully understood still why they are so effective for an attack as what causes and happens during a migraine isn't fully understood yet.
I, for example, take on a daily basis propranalol (beta-blockers, which lower blood pressure, primarily for heart attack patients), amitriptyline (an anti-depressant) and the contraceptive pill (which I tricycle to level out my hormones to prevent migraines at menstruation & ovulation).  None of these were developed to prevent migraines.

The latest treatment which is now becoming available more widespread is botox.  I don't know if botox was originally developed for the cosmetic industry but that's what it's used for most.  Sadly this treatment doesn't last for all that long though and regular re-treatments are needed to maintain it's effect.

The fact that things like botox are being found to help migraines is good though, and the information that these things help prevent migraine all furthers the understanding of what migraine is.

I hope that within my lifetime, research has progressed to the point where migraine attacks can be completely or almost completely prevented.  In the more short-term future though, I think that more break-throughs are going to happen and in the next 10-15 years I expect that more things will have been found to help treat and prevent migraines and I'll be able to live more of my life.

Not much in the way of predictions I know, but since I don't work in migraine research and I know little about it other than what gets reported in the news and what I find through my daily migraine reading then I've little information to go on I'm afraid.

The biggest thing I have to keep me going through the bad days though, is hope, and I hope for a much brighter future when I and others won't have to suffer so much.

June, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders. The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is issued by


  1. I'm slightly worried to read you take the contraceptive pill, as you mention you take 3 packets back to back, I assume you mean the combined pill. I was told by my doctor that I shouldn't, under any circumstances, take this pill as it increases the risk of stroke, as does migraine and together they increase the risk a lot. I take the mini pill which is safer. I only menstruate 3 or 4 times a year which is normal on the mini pill so would have the same affect for you, without the risk.

  2. It's a tricky one - I have migraines, and I take 3 packs of the contraceptive pill back to back like Daisy. Despite all of the risks, I actually have fewer migraines when I take the combined pill!! I tried the mini pill, and had a constant headache that turned regularly into migraine, and a permanent period. Never again.