Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Dr. Bernstein's program has helped hundreds of her patients master migraines, and her book can help you, too." -- Mehmet C. Oz, M.D., coauthor of You : Staying Young and You : On a Diet
"The Migraine Brain is the most complete and up-to-date resource and is a must for all migraine sufferers and anyone who lives with them. It is thorough, easy to understand, and well organized. The ultimate migraine resource." -- Nieca Goldberg, M.D., author of Dr. Nieca Goldberg's Complete Guide to Women's Health
"As a family doctor, I welcome this wonderful book, which can help patients reduce the impact of migraine on their lives. The Migraine Brain explains the subject well and makes understandable a complex condition. It is comprehensive and filled with practical tips for feeling better." -- Erica Swegler, M.D., 2006 Texas Family Physician of the Year
"At last! The Migraine Brain offers real hope, help, and compassion to migraine sufferers everywhere." -- Pauline W. Chen, M.D.,author of Final Exam : A Surgeon's Reflections on Mortality
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"
Chapter 1 -- Is Yours a Migraine?
The Migraine Checklist
Or...Is It a Tension Headache?
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
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
Riboflavin, Coenzyme Q10
Herbs and Herbal Supplements
Your Personal Wellness Plan
Eight Steps to Wellness for Your Migraine Brain
Chapter 12 -- Exercise, Sleep, Nutrition, Relaxation
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