Thursday, March 26, 2015

Headache: Hope Through Research

Headache: Hope Through Research
National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stroke

Published 1996

First Sentence
"You’re sitting at your desk, working on a difficult task, when it suddenly feels as if a belt or vice is being tightened around the top of your head."

Publisher's Description:

This pamphlet was written and published by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the United States’ leading supporter of research on disorders of the brain and nervous system, including headache. NINDS, one of the U.S. Government’s National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, is part of the Public Health Service within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Dear Reader,

Bringing you a little something different today. This was a really great research journal about headaches. Pretty layman but did use all the scientific terms you'd expect. It doesn't read like a dense scientific textbook, which kept me interested. I also want to point out that it was published almost 20 years ago, so this information could be somewhat dated. However, here's a few interesting things I learned:

-The Trigeminal nerve sends the brain information about touch, pain, temperature and vibration. 
-Primary headache disorders are divided into four main groups: migraine, tension-type, trigeminal autonomic cephalgias (short-lasting but severe), and a miscellaneous group.
-The most common type of headaches are tension-type.
-Secondary headache disorders have underlying conditions such as brain tumors, hemorrhagic stroke and head injury.
 -Headaches in children can be caused by emotional problems, weather changes, irregular eating and sleep and dehydration.
-Genetics may contribute to a predisposition for migraines. Most migraine sufferers have a family member with the same.

One of the most shocking fact I learned was that having a hysterectomy can cause headaches (mostly migraine related) but going through menopause normally usually eases or stops for those who suffer from them. Makes me think twice about ever selecting to have my ovaries removed! For anyone who is interested in reading this, you can find the PDF for free here.

Happy Reading,

Headache: Hope Through Research


  1. I've been meaning to note - you interestingly posted this the day after I read Angelina Jolie's article in the NYT related to the removal of her own ovaries: - thought you might be interested in what she had to say about it!

  2. Yes! I read about that. Very interesting indeed. I do love Angelina.


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