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Help for Migraine Sufferers

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katebar

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The university in my city is a world centre for migraine research. They have just released the findings of a study they did with migraine sufferers who took a simple B vitamin and Folic acid every day. The results are very encouraging and it is a simple and cheap treatment and certainly is worth a go.
Mirgaine study
 

Pandora II

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Sadly tried that one and it didn't work for me...

Agree it's worth a go though.

It's a shame they don't give the dosages though - most pregnant women will be taking at least 400 micrograms of folic acid plus a B vitamin, and it is very usual for migraine sufferers to have an increase in attacks whilst they are pregnant - and also for many women to get their first migraine at this time.

I'm seeing my specialist in 2 weeks, so I might ask if he has any more details.
 

katebar

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Date: 2/8/2009 7:36:58 PM
Author: Pandora II
Sadly tried that one and it didn''t work for me...

Agree it''s worth a go though.

It''s a shame they don''t give the dosages though - most pregnant women will be taking at least 400 micrograms of folic acid plus a B vitamin, and it is very usual for migraine sufferers to have an increase in attacks whilst they are pregnant - and also for many women to get their first migraine at this time.

I''m seeing my specialist in 2 weeks, so I might ask if he has any more details.
Pandora I am an alumni of the university so I might write to the unit and see if we can get the doses for you
 

katebar

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Hi P just rote to Dr L Griffiths who is the director of the unit to ask for more info. HTH
 

Skippy123

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Thank you Katebar, I will eat more leafy greens and bananas; very good info!
 

LtlFirecracker

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I was looking for the reference, I was going to pull the study for you guys and review it. Than I saw it was unpublished data. I already have some questions. The sample size is small, and they do not define what they consider an improvement of their headaches. Sometimes things that qualify as an improvement in a study would not mean much in real life (i.e. I have seen studies that show that migraines that typically last for 4 days without x medication last 3.5 days when that med is taken - that would be significant in the study, but most of you would not be happy with that result, I sure would not be). And as Pandora said, what is the dose? Folate is now in bread, and since then most women have been getting normal levels. When it comes out, I will look for it and look it up.

Regardless, folate is an important nutrient, and every women of child bearing age, who even has the remote chance of becoming pregnant should be on a supplement - that includes me, I am really bad about taking supplements.
 

katebar

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Date: 2/9/2009 12:27:40 AM
Author: LtlFirecracker
I was looking for the reference, I was going to pull the study for you guys and review it. Than I saw it was unpublished data. I already have some questions. The sample size is small, and they do not define what they consider an improvement of their headaches. Sometimes things that qualify as an improvement in a study would not mean much in real life (i.e. I have seen studies that show that migraines that typically last for 4 days without x medication last 3.5 days when that med is taken - that would be significant in the study, but most of you would not be happy with that result, I sure would not be). And as Pandora said, what is the dose? Folate is now in bread, and since then most women have been getting normal levels. When it comes out, I will look for it and look it up.

Regardless, folate is an important nutrient, and every women of child bearing age, who even has the remote chance of becoming pregnant should be on a supplement - that includes me, I am really bad about taking supplements.
Yes it is a small study but the research team have been working for a number of years on investigating the myriad of potential causes of migraine.
In regard to folate in bread I''m pretty sure we don''t here in Australia have it in ALL breads just some and many people are deficient in this and B vitamins.
Anyhoo I have emailed the chief researcher asking her for the dosages.
 

Pandora II

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I''d be interested to know if Professor Goadsby was involved in the research at all (he''s Australian, and I was being treated by him until he moved to he US last year).
 

LtlFirecracker

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I am sure they worked hard on this. I am just saying I would not change my recommendations without more information. If the study was done in Australia, I guess I would have to ask how much folate and vit B do they get vs in America where these folate, at least, is in common foods. If Americans get more, then the results may not apply to them. Also, these results are based on a genetic subtype that is 19% of the population with migranes. The Australian population or the US population? If it is not the US population, than I would want to know if this is a common genetic subtype in the US. Maybe it is more common, maybe it is the same, maybe it is less. But I would need to know that information to know if the results apply to my population.

In the end, if these results are good, than a much larger study would need to be done to confirm them, but it would help a subset of patients and that is great. These supplements are a lot cheeper, and have a lot less side effects than the migraine meds out there. The questions I am asking just basic things I look at when reviewing any study, especially one that made the popular press, before I can actually use the results to change my practice. The last think I would want to do is make recommendations based on data that does not apply to my population and than have people coming back to me saying my treatment methods don't work, or worse, never come back and I don't know why.
 

lyra

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I would be interested to know the dosing. My daughter(21) and I get migraines, but she gets them much more often, and none of the prescription meds work for her. She will end up in the ER a couple of times a year to get shots which also don''t help, but what else can we do when she is in that much pain and has auras and nausea and all. I get auras and nausea and get bedridden, but it''s not very often. My dad used to have them too. Guess it''s genetic? Daughter has seen all the specialists to rule out everything, so she''d be willing to try this. The only real difference in our diets is I have a compulsion to eat mass quantities of mushrooms. No one else in the family does this. They must be rich in something my body craves. Anyway, looking forward to hearing more, thanks.
 

Pandora II

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Migraine is VERY genetically linked.

The other thing worth doing is tracking your migraines against your cycle. My migraines are triggered by any drop in oestrogen levels. There are lots of preventative things that can be done to stop these particular migraines.
 

lyra

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Date: 2/10/2009 8:29:24 AM
Author: Pandora II
Migraine is VERY genetically linked.

The other thing worth doing is tracking your migraines against your cycle. My migraines are triggered by any drop in oestrogen levels. There are lots of preventative things that can be done to stop these particular migraines.
Mine aren''t hormonally triggered for the most part. I think sometimes my daughter''s are though. She had to stop birth control pills because of the migraines, as the doctors say there is too great a risk of stroke for her.
She does use one of the scrip meds, can''t for the life of me remember the name right now, but you know how that goes, by the time you use it, it only reduces the pain by a certain amount and doesn''t make her any less bedridden. She''s tried preventative meds, but those didn''t help and had side effects. She''s made all the diet changes. Maybe upping her excercise would help? I''ll tell her about that. I actually think that somehow, my diabetes related meds might be helping me out. They do keep my cycles very regular, and possibly mitigate the severity of the headaches I do get. Maybe the constant consistent glucose levels I have helps too? I think daughter needs to work on that part too.
 

Pandora II

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Sounds likely - I had to come of the combined pill for the same reason.

I take Zomig which works really well for me - it works pretty fast as well. None of the others helped at all. I only use half doses though as the side-effects can make you feel a bit icky (mind you the migraines make me sick anyway).

They can give you oestrogen supplements for the last few days of your cycle that are meant to work well for some people - I''m probably going to try them once I''m no longer pregnant.

I have been so lucky and only had 3 migraines this whole pregnancy for which I am incredibly grateful as you can''t take any of the usual treatments.
 

risingsun

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I also take Zomig, which is quite effective and quick-acting for me. I would like to know more about the study.
 

innerkitten

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I get migraines too, hate em! I had a few really bad ones, one lasted two months ( can you imagine) and another one month. I finally wound up taking some icky drugs that stopped the headache and got hooked up with a specialist to help me work on prevention. Turns out mine are hormonal. So I tend to get them mid cycle and also at the beginning of my cycle. What''s helped me is acupuncture every other week, magnesium and riboflavin in the form of a supplement called Migrelief. I also have found that betablockers help. I only have to take them for a few days before the middle and beginning of my cycle.
 

Gailey

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I too take Zomig. Good at reducing pain, but still feel like I''ve been through a couple of rounds with Mike Tyson. I''ve taken Zomig for a few years. My migraines are very much connected to dropping atmospheric pressure. I probably live in the worst place in the world for people with migraines like this: Calgary, Alberta, Canada. We have a weather pattern here that causes extreme changes in pressure and temperature. I won''t go into that right now, save to say it''s called a "Chinook" if anybody wants more info I''m sure it''s googleable (is that a word?).

I was finding that the zomig seemed to be getting less effective - I certainly needed more of it. My GP suggested I try Botox treatments. He said that he had two patients that it had helped enormously, another two not so much. I''m somewhere in between the two.

So for almost a year now I''ve been having the botox every 3 months. Some 3 month periods are better than others. I went two months without a headache in one of the periods. I thought that was remarkable, given I was having them at least every 10 days or so.

Botox is not a miracle cure by any means and I still take zomig, although far less of it than previously. What I have found is that my headaches are less severe in terms of pain. They have become more infrequent and they are shorter in duration.

It''s incredibly expensive, but fortunately my drug plan covers it.

No harm in trying the Vit B & Folate thing, I guess. I''ll read the study.

I''d be interested in hearing from anyone else that''s found helpful treatments.
 

Pandora II

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I''m seeing my consultant next week, so I''ll see what I can get out of him.

He did give me a list of other meds he recommended but I got pg before I could try them. So far Zomig is the only one that has worked and I''ve done all the beta blocker/ergotamine/amitriptyline/acupuncture/elimination diet potential cures and got nowhere.
 

katebar

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I have received a reply from one of the researchers involved in this study. I was hoping for the scientific paper but they sent me this generic letter which is a response to all the thousands of inquiries they had.It is still helpful .
I can't link it so I will try attaching it.
Bear with me

Ok so if you click on the fille at the bottom of the post you will see the letter.
 

Attachments

AprilBaby

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I suffered for days on end with migraine till I was put on a beta blocker the week before Thanksgiving. I have not had on since.
 

katebar

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Well the link didn''twork so I just will copy and paste!

17th February 2009
Thank you for your interest in our migraine research. Our research primarily
looks at identifying the genes involved in migraine. We are currently trialling
our treatment for individuals with a particular migraine associated mutation,
looking at the effects of vitamin B6, B12 and folate supplementation. If you
are interested in trying these supplements, the recommended dietary intakes
by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) for adults are
B6 -1.5mg/day, Folate - 400ug/day and B12 - 2.4ug/day. For migraineurs, it will
do no harm in trying the following doses: folate (800ug), B6 (10mg) and B12
(100ug). Our clinical trial involves higher doses but the effectiveness will not be
known until later in the year.
It is important to remember that there are many different causes of migraines,
including various genetic and environmental factors that can be different for
each individual.
 
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