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Treatment options for cluster headache

Date:
August 24, 2011
Source:
Deutsches Aerzteblatt International
Summary:
Cluster headache has a substantial detrimental effect on quality of life. New invasive procedures, such as hypothalamic deep brain stimulation and bilateral occipital nerve stimulation, may help patients with chronic refractory headache, according to new research.
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Cluster headache has a substantial detrimental effect on quality of life. New invasive procedures, such as hypothalamic deep brain stimulation and bilateral occipital nerve stimulation, may help patients with chronic refractory headache. This is one of the conclusions reached by Charly Gaul and co-authors from the Department of Neurology at the University Medical Center Essen in the current issue of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International.

Cluster headache is the most common trigemino-autonomic headache, affecting some 120,000 people in Germany. Typically, patients suffer unilateral short attacks, which are accompanied by restlessness. The causes of cluster headache are not clear. Men are affected more often than women, with a ratio of 3.5:1.

Treating the pain attacks with trioptans or inhalation of pure oxygen is effective and well supported by scientific evidence. According to the authors, verapamil is the medication of choice for the purpose of prophylaxis, with onset of effectiveness within the first week. Lithium is an alternative, especially for treating chronic disease.


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The above story is based on materials provided by Deutsches Aerzteblatt International. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Gaul C, Diener HC, Müller OM. Cluster headache—clinical features and therapeutic options. Dtsch Arztebl Int, 2011; 108(33): 543%u20139 DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.2011.0543

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Deutsches Aerzteblatt International. "Treatment options for cluster headache." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110824091149.htm>.
Deutsches Aerzteblatt International. (2011, August 24). Treatment options for cluster headache. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110824091149.htm
Deutsches Aerzteblatt International. "Treatment options for cluster headache." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110824091149.htm (accessed May 27, 2015).

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