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The Migraine Brain: Your Breakthrough Guide to Fewer Headaches, Better Health


The Migraine Brain: Your Breakthrough Guide to Fewer Headaches, Better Health Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A comprehensive book that explains how to cope with migraines by an esteemed neurologist.

You know that your migraine isn't just a headache. But you may not know that migraine actually is a neurological disease. Affecting one in five women, one in twenty men, and one in twenty children, it's a debilitating, complex, and chronic condition that manifests in a combination of symptoms that can include excruciating head pain as well as other distinctive physical and emotional effects. Yet it's also a disease that you can get control of, improve, and manage, as Dr. Carolyn Bernstein has discovered in her seventeen years as a Harvard Medical School faculty member and practicing neurologist.

Praised for her excellence and compassion, the founder of the Women's Headache Center near Boston, and a migraine sufferer herself, Dr. Bernstein has helped hundreds of her patients get better. Now, with The Migraine Brain, the most comprehensive, up-to-the-minute book on migraines ever written, you will be able to do the same—reduce the frequency and intensity of your migraines, learn how to prevent and curtail them and how to recover from them more quickly, and mitigate migraine's effects on every aspect of your life: in the workplace and at home and during sex and travel. Every migraine is different because everyone who gets a migraine has a distinctive “Migraine Brain” with its own sensitivities and triggers. That's why it's so important for you to develop a personalized wellness plan to radically reduce the number and severity of your migraines.

Dr. Bernstein also explains why migraines happen, why they are so often misdiagnosed, and why so few people get the right treatment for them. She reveals the latest research that shows that Migraine Brains share a hypersensitivity to stimuli—the Migraine Brain can actually look different from others on a brain scan—and is more likely to experience a cascade of neurological reactions that give rise to the common clusters of migraine symptoms. This breakthrough medical knowledge makes treatment and recovery possible with new migraine-specific drugs as well as with complementary treatments such as yoga, biofeedback, and an exercise regimen.

With the extraordinarily thorough recommendations of The Migraine Brain in your hands, you will be fully equipped with all the latest information you need to understand migraines and to help your family and co-workers understand that migraine isn't just a headache: it's a serious, yet treatable disease.

About the Author

Carolyn Bernstein,M.D., is an assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and a staff neurologist at Cambridge Health Alliance in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A board-certified neurologist, Dr. Bernstein belongs to the American Academy of Neurology. In 2006, Dr. Bernstein won the Harvard Medical School Faculty Prize for Teaching Excellence, and in 2007, she was the recipient of the Leonard Tow Award for Humanism in Medicine given by Harvard Medical School and the Arnold Gold Foundation. In 2007, she also won the National Headache Foundation's Headache Healthcare Provider of the Year. In 2006, Dr. Bernstein opened her own headache clinic for women, the Women's Headache Center at Cambridge Health Alliance.Elaine McArdle is an award-winning journalist, lawyer with a degree from Vanderbilt Law School, and migraineur who for twenty years has been writing for newspapers and magazines, including The Boston Globe, Boston magazine, and many others.

Table of Contents

Introduction — "I'd Rather Die Than Get Another Migraine"

Migraine Quiz


Chapter 1 — Is Yours a Migraine?

The Migraine Checklist

Or...Is It a Tension Headache?

Mixed Headaches

Sinus Headache — Migraine in Disguise?

Other Kinds of Headaches

Kinds of Migraine

When to Call a Doctor — Beware of Change

Chapter 2 — The Migraine Brain: How It's Different — and What That Means for You

Cortical Spreading Depression — the New Science of Migraine

Questions for the Doctor

The Trigeminal Nerve

Migraine and Seizure

The Genetic Link

The Heart-Migraine Connection: "PFO"

Your Migraine Brain May Change Over Time

What Migraine Is Not

A Strange, Fascinating Disease

Migraine Lore, Famous Migraineurs, and More

Chapter 3 — The Four Stages of a Migraine

The Four Stages

Stage One: Prodrome

Stage Two: Aura — Visual and Other Changes

Stage Three: The Main Migraine or Pain Phase

Stage Four: Postdrome, or the Migraine Hangover

Building Your Migraine Profile

Chapter 4 — Your Migraine Triggers

What's Your List of Triggers?

The Headache Diary

How to Avoid Your Triggers

My Personal Top Ten Migraine Triggers

Chapter 5 — Female Hormones and Migraines Through the Life Cycle

The Role of Female Hormones

Are Your Migraines Related to Menstruation?

Migraines During Your Life Cycle

Planning for Pregnancy




Chapter 6 — Men's Migraines

Important News for Men with Migraine

Men: Taking Care of Your Health


Chapter 7 — Measuring Your Migraine: The Best Self-Tests

Your Migraine Toolbox

Chapter 8 — How to Find the Right Doctor

What Kind of Doctor Should You Choose?

How to Find a Headache Specialist

If You Can't Find a Headache Specialist

The First Appointment

Chapter 9 — Medicines That Work

A Variety of Migraine Medications

Prevent, Abort, Rescue — the Three Types of Drugs

Preventive Drugs

Abortive Drugs

Rescue Drugs

Over-the-Counter Drugs

Surgery and Other Options

Chapter 10 — When You Have to Go to the Emergency Room

How to Make Your ER Visit Successful — A Signed Doctor's Form

What to Take with You to ER — Your ER Kit

If You Are Admitted to the Hospital

Recovering from Migraine

In-Patient Treatment for Migraine

Chapter 11 — Complementary and Alternative Treatments


Other Relaxation Techniques





Ice Massage


Riboflavin, Coenzyme Q10

Herbs and Herbal Supplements

Energy Healing


Your Personal Wellness Plan


Eight Steps to Wellness for Your Migraine Brain

Chapter 12 — Exercise, Sleep, Nutrition, Relaxation



Healthy Eating

Relaxation and Stress Reduction

Chapter 13 — Family, Home, Sex, Mental Health

Living with a Migraineur

How to Make Your Home Migraine-Free

Sex and Migraines

Mental Health and Migraine

Chapter 14 — Migraines, Work, and Travel



Chapter 15 — Migraine Makeover: Creating Your Own Personal Migraine Plan

Migraine Makeover: My Personal Treatment Plan



Product Details

Bernstein, Carolyn
Pocket Books
McArdle, Elaine
Pain Management
Neurology - General
Neurology - Headache
Health and Medicine-Pain
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
6.75 x 4.19 in 9.205 oz

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Headaches
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Illnesses
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Specialties
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Pain

The Migraine Brain: Your Breakthrough Guide to Fewer Headaches, Better Health New Mass Market
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