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Suffering from the pain of headaches and migraines? This podcast offers vital information for those who experience migraine symptoms. Dr. Lucas helps listeners both understand what we know about these conditions and explains different therapeutics and what they do.

Listen and learn

  • What causes migraines, including genetic factors and environmental stimuli,
  • Why research on chronic headaches treatment has lagged and how it is accelerating, and
  • How therapeutics differ, what exactly they do, and what are the latest advances in treatment.

Dr. Sylvia Lucas is a Clinical Professor Emeritus of Neurology at the University of Washington Medical Center.

She brings an approachable, clear delivery of information for all-things-migraine in this episode. Her overview includes an explanation of why research has been less than optimal until recently.

Research wasn’t there in the early part of modern medicine in part because it was considered a “women’s condition.

” Because stress is one of the most common triggers, sufferers were told to “buck up.” But now scientists have a biological model and resources such as imaging to invest in careful study.

For the most part, migraines are thought to be a genetic process. There are about 40 major and hundreds of minor genes linked to migraines. A major class of drugs to treat migraines called triptans were developed in the ’80s and then advancement in therapeutics stalled. Recently, however, CGRP drugs were introduced, which are small molecule drugs. They block receptors very specific to migraine pain. In spring of 2020, one such drug called Nurtec ODT was released, which can be taken without water and brings relief within an hour.

She explains in detail how and also discusses daily habits that might help. She emphasizes the help a regular routine can offer migraine sufferers as well as other stress-relieving habits. She also talks about her current research into concussions and headache-related symptoms from this injury. Listen in for more about strategies for relief.

For more information, see the National Headache Foundation and the American Headache Society.

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