THE EVOLUTION OF MIGRAINE DISEASE
As a small child, I had terrible headaches. I recall thinking that if I cut a hole in my head and poured cold water inside, it would help. Later on in high school, I suffered two severe concussions. Whether these experiences played a role or not, I cannot say, but they do represent a beginning. In college, I began to get classic episodic migraines. These were sporadic at first, but became more frequent and severe over time. The migraines continued to increase in frequency until they became chronic. After that, I continued to work for many years and I was lucky to work for an office that valued me and understood my condition as best they could. Then things got even worse. Today, I am in a migraine state at least 25 days each month and experience chronic daily headache as well, so I never have a day without head pain.
“Its hard to say that I am happy with current treatments options because right now nothing works for me. I’ve tried so many things and nothing has been effective and I am in a migraine state some 27 days a month.”
WHY MORE RESEARCH IS NEEDED
Given the length of time I have experienced migraines and the transition from episodic to chronic, I have tried most therapies and prophylactics typically used for migraine (and many meant for other conditions). Some have shown moderate success, while most were ineffective. All eventually proved unhelpful. In the most recent years, we have seen the very first medicines which have been specifically developed for migraine.
“The fact that I have lived most of my adult life without a treatment specifically designed for migraine is a testament as to both the difficulty the disease presents and the relative lack of research that has been undertaken for it.”
HOPES FOR THE FUTURE OF MIGRAINE RESEARCH
My hopes are that continued migraine-specific research will result in a better understanding of the physiological causes of migraine and the precise nature by which they function. A greater understanding of migraine by specialists and the broader medical community will ultimately result in better preventative and abortive therapies. Currently, our understanding of migraine is limited and the honest answer to many questions by many doctors (even headache specialists) is, “I don’t know.” That is a fair answer, to be sure, but it reflects how little we still know today about this disease.
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