Previous month:
April 2006
Next month:
June 2006

Unique Education Series Setting Sail!

The statistics are shocking. Nearly 50 million Americans suffer from persistent pain. Nearly 36 million are affected by Migraine disease. At least 80% of the world's population will be affected by tension-type headaches at some time in their lives. These “invisible” illnesses can be disabling and can make those afflicted by them feel isolated, alone, and powerless.

Dr. John Claude Krusz, Helen Dearman, and Teri Robert have joined forces to form Pain Tamers™ At Sea to provide opportunities for chronic pain, headache, and Migraine patients to learn about their conditions and management techniques. In the setting of an ocean cruise, the goal of Pain Tamers™ At Sea is to provide a peaceful, relaxing setting for educational seminars combined with a short vacation. Feature article.

Value of Migraine Patient Education Confirmed

The disability burden created created by them has caused the World Health Organization (WHO) to state that Migraine and other headache disorders, "should be classified amongst major public health disorders." A 2004 WHO report states, "in representative samples of the general populations of the United States of America and the United Kingdom, only half of those identified with migraine had seen a doctor for headache-related reasons in the previous 12 months, and only two-thirds had been correctly diagnosed." That same report also states, "The key in most areas of the world is education."

One of the primary goals established by the WHO is better physician education. Physicians who are well educated in this field often emphasize the importance of educating Migraine patients as well. The results of a study recently published in Headache show the impact of Migraine patient education.  Feature Article.

Frova®: Trial for Menstrual Migraine Successful

Endo Pharmaceuticals has released data from the second Phase III study of Frova® (frovatriptan succinate) for the short-term (six days per month) prevention of menstrual Migraine (MM). This study corroborates the positive findings in a prior efficacy study published in Neurology in July 2004. Now, with two successful Phase III trials, Endo expects to file a supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the coming weeks to seek approval for the additional indication of Frova® for the prevention of menstrual Migraine. If the application approved, Frova® will be the only triptan in the U.S. actually FDA-approved for the prevention of MM. Feature article.

Mother's Day, Don't Forget Yourself

GardeningThe approach of Mother's Day is always a thoughtful time for me, but not so much in the "traditional" way. Maybe it's because I prefer verbs to nouns, actions to things...

The definition of mothering doesn't necessarily involve giving birth. More accurately, mothering means attending to the needs and comforts of someone. In today's society, one role of a mother that has become less prominent is that of family healer. In times past, when doctors were few and far between, it was part of the mother's role to tend to the health of her family. Women knew about herbs and used them to care for people. They knew first aid, basic injury care. They knew how to take care of a fevered child and help another woman through childbirth. If you watch older movies, you'll often see the wife of a rancher called to care for a ranch hand who's been injured or a woman on a neighboring ranch who's about to give birth.

Now that doctors are plentiful in "developed countries," these duties no longer fall to women. Yet, it's usually the woman in the family who makes the doctor's appointments and comforts family members when they're hurt or ill. It's usually "Mommy" young children run to when they have a boo-boo.

To me, there's yet another side of "mothering," and it's something we need to do for ourselves. It's tending to our own emotional and spiritual health. With different belief systems, there's no right way to do this, but taking time out for our own needs allows us to be healthier, stronger, and more complete. It allows us to be in better shape for everything we do, including tending to the needs of others.

So, whether you're a mother in the sense of having given birth or not, please consider giving yourself a priceless Mother's Day gift, a gift of time to attend to your own needs and comforts. Set aside at least 30 minutes every day that's your time, totally uninterrupted, for whatever use you want. It can be prayer, meditation, a bubble bath. Be good to yourself. We all deserve as much.

Cluster Headaches? Are Mushrooms and LSD Answers?

Cluster headaches are nothing short of monstrous. They affect approximately 5% of the population, more men than women. Cluster headache research doesn't seem very plentiful, perhaps because of the relatively low prevalence. That's small comfort to the sufferers of cluster headaches.

Dr. R. Andrew Sewell and Dr. John H. Halpern, Harvard researchers, are studying the effects of two substances -- psilocybin (found in certain mushrooms) and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) -- on cluster headaches. Feature Article.