• Effectiveness of Pharmacological Treatments in Imploding vs. Exploding Headaches

      Hunt, Megan; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Files, Julia (The University of Arizona., 2013-03)
      Recent research shows variability in the effectiveness of botulinum toxin A among patients who experience their headaches as imploding compared with those who experience exploding headache sensations. Further research has not yet examined whether such variability exists among other pharmacological treatments. This study examines the effectiveness of acute and preventative medications in imploding vs. exploding headaches. 201 patients were recruited in the Women’s Health Internal Medicine Program at Mayo Clinic. These patients were given surveys to determine their physician identified headache type (imploding, exploding, or ocular), as well as patient-reported information about the effectiveness of prophylactic medications or triptans. This data was analyzed to determine whether a significant difference existed between medications that were effective for imploding, exploding, or ocular headaches. The study found that no such difference existed. The data was also used to analyze the correlation between physician-identified headache type and the patient-identified headache type. There appears to be only a weak correlation between these assignments, suggesting some room for improvement in the way headache directionality is explored by physician and understood by patients. In the future, research will hopefully uncover additional factors which are useful as predictors for migraine pharmacology.