Cluster Headaches (CH) affect approximately 0.1-0.4% of the general population, and 8-10% of all persons who suffer from headaches. The most commonly occur in men between the ages of 20 and 40 years of age. Persons who suffer from CH tend to be sociable, active and responsible. For this reason, CH are sometimes called "the executive headache".
CH is one of the most severe forms of headache. The underlying cause is still poorly understood. It is thought that the pain may be related to the dilation of blood vessels or to inflammation of nerves behind the eye.
Cluster headaches are so called because of the pattern of attacks. Episodic CH consists of "active" or "on" periods that may last for days to months, during which headaches may occur every other day or as frequently as 8 times per day. Headache-free remissions may last months to several years. During "active" periods, attacks may be triggered by a variety of factors.
The goals of care are the control of pain in acute attacks, prevention of recurrences and minimization of impact on daily functioning. Treatment usually consists of medication, but may require nerve injection, radiofrequency therapy or oxygen therapy.
The Medifocus Guide on Cluster Headache provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:
What are the most common symptoms of cluster headache?
Are there any recognized risk factors for developing cluster headache?
What kinds of medical tests are used to establish the diagnosis of cluster headache?
What is the current standard of care for the treatment of cluster headache?
What treatment options are available for the management of cluster headache?
Are there any promising new developments or potential breakthroughs in treatment?
Who are the most notable medical authorities who specialize in cluster headache?
Where are the leading hospitals and centers of research for cluster headache?
What are the most important questions to ask my doctor about cluster headache??
What Your Doctor Reads:
This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:
Mechanisms and management of headache. Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of London. 1999
Cluster headache: new perspectives. Cephalalgia. 1999
The treatment of cluster headache. Functional Neurology. 1998
Cluster headache. Seminars in Neurology. 1997
Substance P theory: a unique focus on the painful and painless phenomena of cluster headache. Headache. 1990
Cluster headache sine headache: case report. Neurology. 2000
What are cluster headaches and how are they treated?. Health News. 2000
Cluster headaches: association with anxiety disorders and memory deficits. Neurology. 1999
Cluster headache and lifestyle: remarks on a population of 374 male patients. Cephalalgia. 1999
Short-lasting primary headaches: focus on trigeminal automatic cephalgias and indomethacin-sensitive headaches. Current Opinion in Neurology. 1999
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