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Dr Fred Cohen: Higher Temperatures Trigger Migraines According to New Study

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It is only the first full week of summer, and a record-breaking heatwave is already sending temperatures soaring to dangerously high levels in the Northeast and Midwest, with much of the U.S. suffering through sweltering humidity. One medical researcher is cautioning people to watch for headache and migraine attacks as a result. Specifically, Dr Fred Cohen, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, recently co-authored a new headache study that he presented at the American Headache Society’s 66th Annual Scientific Meeting in San Diego, CA, which demonstrates a relationship between weather variables and headache attacks in individuals with migraines.

The Annual Scientific Meeting is designed for physicians, psychologists, scientists, researchers, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and other health professionals involved in the care of patients with head, neck, and orofacial pain.

“Many triggers are associated with headaches and migraines, but weather changes are among the most commonly reported; however, data and metrics on these weather changes have rarely been published until now,” said Dr. Cohen. “Our groundbreaking study finds that increased temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure typically intensifies headache attacks in the 40 million Americans who suffer from migraines.”

In the study, researchers examined 71,030 daily diary records from 660 migraine patients and correlated them with regional weather data. They discovered that for each 10-degree Fahrenheit rise in daily temperature, there was a 6% increase in headache occurrences.

Dr Fred Cohen notes that there is hope on the horizon as the study also indicates that patients who were treated with Fremanezumab (Ajovy®), a calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) monoclonal antibody treatment approved by the FDA for migraine prevention, improved these weather-related headaches.

“This study is the first to suggest that migraine-specific therapies that block CGRP may treat weather associated headaches,” adds Dr. Cohen. “It’s quite remarkable that, despite the diverse weather patterns nationwide, we were able to identify such a significant influence. It also raises concerns about greater weather variability and more frequent severe weather events and their relationship with migraines, especially as climate change progresses.”

Another keynote theme of the conference was the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in headache diagnosis, management, and detecting migraine comorbidities. Dr. Cohen gave a lecture on the use of large language models (LLMs), such as ChatGPT and CoPilot, in clinical practice and their potential to improve provider efficiency. Other emerging topics included new acute treatments for migraine, such as vaporized cannabis and novel targets like transient receptor potential melastatin 3 (TRPM3) and pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP).

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Medical Device News Magazine provides breaking medical device / biotechnology news. Our subscribers include medical specialists, device industry executives, investors, and other allied health professionals, as well as patients who are interested in researching various medical devices. We hope you find value in our easy-to-read publication and its overall objectives! Medical Device News Magazine is a division of PTM Healthcare Marketing, Inc. Pauline T. Mayer is the managing editor.

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