24 June 2010

Treatment Helped Soldiers With Migraine, Insomnia: Study

Sleep quality improved in those with post-traumatic headache, researchers say

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WEDNESDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment helped improve sleep quality for U.S. soldiers who suffered from migraine headaches after returning from the war in Iraq, a new study found.

Migraine is known to affect about 19 percent of soldiers returning from Iraq, and is suspected in another 17 percent. These soldiers may experience poor sleep quality, but treatment -- including education -- can help, according to a research team from the Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Wash.

The study findings are scheduled to be presented Wednesday at the annual meeting of the American Headache Society (AHS), held in Los Angeles.

"The research sought to determine if treatment for headache and insomnia could improve sleep quality among our patients with post-traumatic headaches," lead author Dr. Cong Zhi Zhao said in an AHS news release. "We found that three months after initial treatment, those with post-traumatic headache reported significantly improved sleep quality and sleep onset than [at the beginning of the study], although their nightmares and interrupted sleep were not significantly changed."

"Post-traumatic headache and migraine is an important cause of disability in our soldiers that affects their field performance and their lives after returning from the battlefield," Dr. David Dodick, president of the AHS, added in the news release.

"Sleep quality is an important factor which is both a result of and a contributing factor to the disability imposed by these disorders, so this work is an important step in understanding the influence of effective headache treatment on sleep quality," he added.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about sleep and sleep disorders.


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Dr Elliot Shevel is a South African migraine surgery pioneer and the founder and medical director of The Headache Clinic in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, South Africa. The Headache Clinic is a multidisciplinary practice dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of Primary Headaches and Migraines. Dr Shevel is also the main author of all scientific publications generated by his team. He recently won a high level science debate in which he was able to prove that the current migraine diagnosis and classification is not based on data. Tertiary Education - Dr Shevel holds both Dental and Medical degrees, and practises as a specialist Maxillo-facial and Oral Surgeon. Follow the Headache Clinic on Twitter@HeadacheClinic.

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