NVFP Presents:

Head On – Understanding Migraine

Migraine is not just a bad headache. This neurologic disease is the number one cause of disability in women under the age of 50. Although there is no cure, accurate diagnosis and effective intervention can help you take back control when living with migraine.

Join Dr. Elizabeth Cilenti and Dr. Carrie Dougherty as they discuss how to differentiate migraine from other types of headache, explain the phases of migraine symptoms, and debunk common misconceptions about “triggers”. They will also address how stigma adds to the burden of migraine and discuss working with your care team to develop an effective treatment strategy.

Event Highlights:

    • 0:14 – 2:19 – Dr. Elizabeth Cilenti begins the town hall event by welcoming the attendees and introducing the special guest, Dr. Carrie Dougherty. Dr. Dougherty is an associate professor of Neurology at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and the Fellowship Program Director for the MedStar Georgetown Headache Medicine Fellowship. She is also board-certified in Neurology and Headache medicine.
    • 2:30 – 7:03 – Dr. Dougherty quotes an essay by Joan Didion, In Bed, that captures what a common migraine experience feels like. “I had no brain tumor, no eye strain, no high blood pressure, nothing wrong with me at all. I simply had migraine headaches and migraine headaches were as everyone who did not have them do imaginary.”
    • 7:15 – 9:00 – As Dr. Dougherty puts it – “Migraines are very common, impacting 47 million Americans, one in five women and one in 10 men. And it’s the second leading cause of disability overall, but the first among women between the ages of 15 and 49.”
    • 9:05 – 18:05 – Dr. Dougherty describes the differences between tension headaches, cluster headaches, and common migraine symptoms. “You can feel like you don’t want to eat even if you’re not actually nauseous or throw up, you can feel super tired, trouble speaking, you can be dizzy feeling like you think can’t think straight.”
    • 18:15 – 23:00 – “If you’re experiencing migraines or really severe headaches, you may be worried that it’s not a migraine. What if it’s something that’s dangerous if you’re having recurrent headaches that you’ve had for years that feel the same and kind of follow the same pattern and haven’t really progressed in frequency to being daily?”
    • 23:09 – 37:27 – So if you have a migraine, what can you do about it? From lifestyle changes to medications, the providers discuss the treatment methods available.
    • 37:40 – 49:22 – Dr. Dougherty discusses preventive migraine treatments, such as anti-seizure medications, antihypertensives, and antidepressants. Dr. Dougherty also discusses Botox as a treatment for migraines, as it has been shown to significantly reduce the frequency of migraines in patients who have less than 15 days per month of headaches.
    • 50:28 – 1:03:34 – Dr. Cilenti and Dr. Dougherty answer questions from the audience, and then close out the town hall event by thanking everyone for joining.
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