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Meeting Highlights from American Headache Society 59th Annual Scientific Meeting

Meeting Information

June 8-11, 2017
Westin Boston Waterfront
425 Summer Street
Boston, MA

The American Headache Society (AHS) annual scientific meeting is recognized as an international forum for peer-reviewed presentations of new research by leading experts in headache and migraine medicine.

Attendees gained insights into evolving science, products and technological advancements in the detection, management, and care of patients of all ages who suffer from pain originating in the head, neck, and orofacial regions.

Peter J. Goadsby, MD, PhD, professor of neurology and director of the Headache Clinic at the University of California in San Francisco, who chaired program development for this 4-day conference, offered expert commentary on select presentations covered by Practical Pain Management.

AHS sessions highlighted here include interviews Practical Pain Management conducted with Ann Calhoun, MD, who pushed for pain specialists to embrace the use of continuous, low-dose oral contraceptive (OC) for women with menstrual-related migraines without aura as a highly efficacious preventive agent. In addition, Gretchen E. Tietjen, MD, made a strong case for managing women who have migraines with aura, on a case-by-case basis with OC use. Commentary was supplied by   session moderator Huma Sheikh, MD.

Howard Jacobs, MD, presented findings on the premonitory symptoms found in children and adolescents, which offer fair warning to caregivers and the patients to have treatment at the ready, and thereby avoid unnecessary misery.

Other highlights featured clinical trial findings on new treatments for headache and migraine pain, including very promising findings for an investigational new monoclonal antibody as a migraine preventive.

In the United States, it is estimated that migraine pain impacts 20% of women, 1 in 16 men and 1 in 11 children. Given the number of patients affected, the risk of developing stroke, depression, and chronic pain, is significantly higher in migraineurs than nonheadache patients. Despite this, only one-third of people who suffer from migraines mention it to their physician. 

 

From this Meeting:

Experts agree that very low dose, continuous hormone contraception can prevent migraines without aura and should become the treatment of choice while women who have migraines with aura must be treated individually given the high risk of stroke and other challenges in these patients.
A survey of children and adolescents found pronounced fatigue and heightened moodiness as the most common premonitory symptoms, leading up to a migraine and allowing for caregivers to be ready with earliest possible treatment upon to avoid pain.
Eptinezumab, a new investigational monoclonal antibody, promises to prevent chronic migraines by delivering rapid, long-lasting relief from a quarterly intravenous infusion.
Acute treatment of migraines are muted, more Ineffective in the presence of allodynia. Timing of taking aborative medication is essential—generally beginning about 30 minutes into the migraine to prevent allodynia from occurring and pain from worsening.
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