What is a migraine?
Migraine involves much more than just a headache. It’s a very common neurological condition – about 70% of patients have a first degree relative that also has migraines. Migraines are not typically related to any brain abnormalities and no markers are present on brain imaging. The mechanism of migraines is not completely understood; however, when migraines are triggered, CGRP and other neuropeptides are released. These neuropeptides cause vasodilation and neuro-inflammation in the brain. Possible Migraine triggers include: weather changes, certain foods, sleep changes, dehydration, stress and alcohol.
When should I see a specialist?
If migraines or headaches are affecting your quality of life – you’re missing school, you’re missing work, you’re missing family activities – or if you’re having more than two headaches a week and are having trouble getting rid of them, it’s probably time to come see a specialist.
When you come in, we’ll do a neurological exam and we’ll decide whether imaging is needed based on your symptoms and your exam. Acute treatment for patients with migraines could include prescription pills, nasal sprays, or injectables. Medications we use to treat migraines target neuropeptides, neuro-inflammation and some cause vasoconstriction of blood vessels. We also offer Botox injections for chronic migraines (15+ headaches/month with at least 8 of these days including migraine symptoms), where Botox is injected in 31 FDA approved sites every 12 weeks. Also, the newest option for migraine prevention for people with refractory headaches is an every-three-month infusion.
If you’re suffering with headaches or migraines, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment. Call MMC Neurology at 615-867-8090 or click here.
Hi, my name is Dana Carter. I’m a Nurse Practitioner at MMC Neurology. I am a headache specialist, which means I have special training and have earned an added certification in headache medicine from the National Headache Foundation. I love helping people feel better and improving their quality of life through treatment.