Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Drugs may not be best weapon against teen migraines, study finds

18.06.2002


A new study of migraine headaches suggests behavioral therapy "not medication -- may be the most effective weapon against migraine pain for teen-agers.



Researchers with the Ohio University Headache Treatment & Research Project enrolled 30 teens ages 12 to 17 in the pilot project. Half were treated with triptans -- a fairly new class of drugs widely used for migraine in adults -- and half were assigned to a phone-administered behavioral therapy program that included instruction in biofeedback and a variety of relaxation exercises.

Eighty percent of the kids receiving behavioral therapy recorded a decrease of more than half in the number of migraines per month, according to project manager Connie Cottrell, who will present the findings at the American Headache Society annual meeting June 21 in Seattle. Teens in this group also recorded an 80 percent reduction in the hours of activities missed due to migraine pain.


These preliminary results have prompted the researchers to begin plans for a larger study of the treatment of migraines in teens. The planned project will be modeled after a National Institutes of Health-sponsored adult migraine study currently under way at the university’s headache clinics in Athens and Columbus.

Migraines are a debilitating health problem that affect some 8 million children and adolescents, resulting in more than 1 million lost school days each year, according to the JAMA Migraine Information Center. At the beginning of the study, participants in this pilot project, who kept daily diaries about their headaches, recorded an average of 3.3 migraines a month with moderate to severe pain. The teens also recorded an average of 5.1 hours per month when their headaches prevented them from participating in a variety of activities.

"Some of these kids were in so much pain, they were just tearful," Cottrell said. "There was one boy whose parent told me would just lie on the bed, hold his head and cry because the pain was so bad."

Studies over the years have revealed a lot of information about the prevention, onset and treatment of migraines in adults. But even though the peak onset for migraine headaches is around 15 years of age, there is less research on migraines in children and teens.

"The triptan therapies have proven very helpful for adults, but it has not been determined if they will be as effective for treating migraines in teens," said Ken Holroyd, a professor of health psychology at Ohio University who started the Headache Treatment and Research Project in 1975. "Triptans are promising treatments for teens. However, if teens can learn to control migraines without medication, this could save decades of medication consumption."

More than 60 kids called to participate in this pilot study, but only 30 who fit the criteria -- two to eight headaches a month that lasted at least four hours each -- were able to commit to the 16-week project.

During the first four-weeks of the study, all 30 participants kept a daily diary of their headache pain, recording the frequency and severity of their migraines. The teens also were seen by the headache project?s neurologist, Dr. Frank O?Donnell.

Participants were then randomly assigned to one of two eight-week treatment groups. Those in the drug therapy group were prescribed triptans, a class of drugs widely used for migraine in adults. The researchers called teens in this group once every two weeks to monitor the effects of the drug.

Those in the behavioral therapy group were given a manual written by Cottrell called "STOP" (Strategies to Take Out the Pain), which included information on ways to identify early signs of migraine and how to manage the triggers that bring on the pain. The book also offered training in relaxation, biofeedback and stress management. Teens read a chapter each week and discussed what they learned during a 20- to 30-minute phone conversation with project leaders.

This contact likely was key to the success of the behavioral therapy, said Cottrell, who noted that although stereotypes sometimes suggest teens have little to say to adults, teens in this study were eager to talk about their migraines.

"Most people who have headaches want to talk about them because they’re used to no one listening to them," she said. "I didn’t have any problems getting them to talk about their headaches. Some of the teen-agers didn?t do all the reading they were supposed to and in those cases, we talked about what they should have read over the phone so they were exposed to the information."

But for the most part, teens in the study were eager to learn to control their headaches, Cottrell said. The teens also responded favorably to biofeedback therapy, which, in this project, involved a small electronic thermometer that attached to a teen’s finger to measure body temperature. Kids were taught how to increase the temperature in their fingers, a process that triggers blood vessels in the head to relax, lessening headache pain.

"Interestingly enough, it was a lot easier for the teen-agers to do the biofeedback than for adults," Cottrell said. "Maybe it was because it uses a computer and kids thought it was cool or maybe kids are more open-minded."

Kids’ response to biofeedback is one of several things Cottrell hopes a larger study of migraines in teens will help her understand. She also wants to devise a plan that would help parents become more involved in the treatment of their kids’ migraines and to design an instructional tool that would do a better job of keeping teens’ attention.

"There has to be a way to get more parental involvement and support for the teen and a more enticing and attractive way to get the message to the teen-agers," Cottrell said. "Reading it in a book is too old-fashioned for young people."


###
For more information about the NIH adult migraine study, call (740) 593-1060 in Athens or (614) 839-3254 in Columbus.

Kelli Whitlock | EurekAlert!

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Candidate Ebola vaccine still effective when highly diluted, macaque study finds
21.10.2019 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Autism spectrum disorder risk linked to insufficient placental steroid
21.10.2019 | Children's National Hospital

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Solving the mystery of quantum light in thin layers

A very special kind of light is emitted by tungsten diselenide layers. The reason for this has been unclear. Now an explanation has been found at TU Wien (Vienna)

It is an exotic phenomenon that nobody was able to explain for years: when energy is supplied to a thin layer of the material tungsten diselenide, it begins to...

Im Focus: An ultrafast glimpse of the photochemistry of the atmosphere

Researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have explored the initial consequences of the interaction of light with molecules on the surface of nanoscopic aerosols.

The nanocosmos is constantly in motion. All natural processes are ultimately determined by the interplay between radiation and matter. Light strikes particles...

Im Focus: Shaping nanoparticles for improved quantum information technology

Particles that are mere nanometers in size are at the forefront of scientific research today. They come in many different shapes: rods, spheres, cubes, vesicles, S-shaped worms and even donut-like rings. What makes them worthy of scientific study is that, being so tiny, they exhibit quantum mechanical properties not possible with larger objects.

Researchers at the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility located at DOE's Argonne National...

Im Focus: Novel Material for Shipbuilding

A new research project at the TH Mittelhessen focusses on the development of a novel light weight design concept for leisure boats and yachts. Professor Stephan Marzi from the THM Institute of Mechanics and Materials collaborates with Krake Catamarane, which is a shipyard located in Apolda, Thuringia.

The project is set up in an international cooperation with Professor Anders Biel from Karlstad University in Sweden and the Swedish company Lamera from...

Im Focus: Controlling superconducting regions within an exotic metal

Superconductivity has fascinated scientists for many years since it offers the potential to revolutionize current technologies. Materials only become superconductors - meaning that electrons can travel in them with no resistance - at very low temperatures. These days, this unique zero resistance superconductivity is commonly found in a number of technologies, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Future technologies, however, will harness the total synchrony of electronic behavior in superconductors - a property called the phase. There is currently a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Symposium on Functional Materials for Electrolysis, Fuel Cells and Metal-Air Batteries

02.10.2019 | Event News

NEXUS 2020: Relationships Between Architecture and Mathematics

02.10.2019 | Event News

Optical Technologies: International Symposium „Future Optics“ in Hannover

19.09.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fraunhofer LBF and BAM develop faster procedure for flame-retardant plastics

21.10.2019 | Materials Sciences

For EVs with higher range: Take greater advantage of the potential offered by lightweight construction materials

21.10.2019 | Materials Sciences

Benefit and risk: Meta-analysis draws a heterogeneous picture of drug-coated balloon angioplasty

21.10.2019 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>