Migraine, art and medicine

Photo in sewing box

There’s a man in my mum’s sewing box. Staggeringly handsome and, until recently, rather mysterious. I hadn’t expected to be writing about a mystery again quite so soon after learning of the woman who may have been the face of Resusci Anne, but today I’m back with new Cochrane evidence which takes some of the mystery out of medicines for migraine, plus a look at migraine art and the man behind it. The man whose face has nestled among the cotton reels for the past sixty years. Continue reading

Advertisements

What’s being served up in the Cochrane Library?

The reviews are flying into the Cochrane Library quicker than balls off Murray’s racquet this week and several aces have been served! Here’s my pick of the past fortnight.

It’s all strawberries and Pimms in SW19 but in WC1 the good folk of the Cochrane Heart Group are concentrating on garlic sandwiches and tea. Now I like a nice cuppa but a garlic sandwich? Even Jamie Oliver might balk at that, but the suggestion crops up in a new review on preventing cardiovascular disease (CVD) through providing fruit and vegetables to encourage people to eat more of them, or just advising them to do so. I asked heart doctor Harry Boardman to take a look. Continue reading

Can ‘red flags’ help clinicians diagnose vertebral fracture in patients with low-back pain?

Key message:  Based on the small number of studies included in this review, the use of many red flags to screen for vertebral fracture is not supported by the available evidence.

Many people suffer from low-back pain (LBP) and, whilst it is second only to the common cold as a cause of lost working days and can be pretty disabling, for most it is not caused by serious underlying disease. But how can clinicians identify the 1% to 5% of patients presenting with LBP who do have underlying disease (vertebral fracture, malignancy, infection or inflammatory disease) needing further investigation and treatment? Continue reading

Children living with pain may be helped by psychological therapies

Key message: Psychological therapies can be helpful in reducing pain in childen and adolescents with chronic and recurrent pain. 

Living with chronic pain is a miserable business. It can be a major cause of disability and distress and affects not only the person themselves but those close to them. Any parent will tell you how upsetting it is to see their child in pain and I was surprised to learn how many children live with it, around 15% to 30%, with around 8% having severe and frequent pain. So what can be done to help them? Continue reading

Cognitive behavioural therapy can help people manage chronic pain

Key message: Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), when delivered by experienced staff, can be helpful in the management of chronic pain, though it is not known which components of CBT work best for different types of patients and for which outcomes Continue reading