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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Treating Cluster Headaches with High Flow Oxygen appears effective.

According to a new study in the December 9, 2009 issue of JAMA treatment of cluster headaches with high-flow oxygen created pain free relief with-in 15 minutes. The study by Anna S. Cohen, Ph.D., M.R.C.P., of the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London was a randomized, placebo (room air)-controlled trial of high-flow oxygen for the treatment of acute attacks of cluster headache.

Cluster headaches normally have a duration of 15 minutes to 3 hours and the bouts are known for excruciating pain when left untreated. Patients can have as many as 8 attacks a day. The name "cluster Headaches" is because the attacks occur in clusters that last for several weeks or months followed by spontaneous remissions that can last for months to several years. The headaches are currently treated with injections of sumatriptan. This drug can be dangerous due to the frequency of use with clustr headaches.

The Dr Cohen's study included 109 patients, the fian analyzed group include 57 episodic cluster headache patients and 19 patients with chronic cluster headaches. Dr Cohen and the other authors wrote "To our knowledge, this is the first adequately powered trial of high-flow oxygen compared with placebo, and it confirms clinical experience and current guidelines that inhaled oxygen can be used as an acute attack therapy for episodic and chronic cluster headache,"

"This work paves the way for further studies to optimize the administration of oxygen and its more widespread use as an acute attack treatment in cluster headache, offering an evidence-based alternative to those who cannot take triptan agents."

The use of Qxygen is a logical alternative to triptan drugs. It has long been known that cluster headaches responded well to oxygen but this study will pave the way for safer treatments utilizing oxygen. The real question is why did it take so long for this study to be done? That is probably because most of the research is funded by drug companies. They pay for studies when they will then sell expensive products in the future. Dr Cohen and her colleagues have done a huge service to patients suffering cluster headaches by offering a safe and inexpensive alternative to drug therapy.

Sleep apnea is known to cause numerous problems including morning headaches and migraines. Cluster headaches are also frequently during sleep hours. All patients with nocturnal cluster headaches should be evaluated with polysomnography for sleep apnea and Respiratory effort relatedarousals. The drug of choice in sleep apnea is also oxygen but in the form of room air. Opening airway restrictions can eliminate the condition. My I HATE CPAP! site details what happened to my son as a result of sleep apnea. His stroy http://www.ihatecpap.com/dr_shapira.html is a simlilar ending. Treating sleep apnea in children can prevent ADHD. The children heal from breathing. Oxygen not Ritalin is the treatment of choice.

posted by Dr Shapira at 10:40 AM

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