What are Cluster Headaches?

Cluster headache negatively affects the quality of life. In an article published in the current issue of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, Charly Gaul and co-authors from the Department of Neurology at the University Medical Center Essen revealed that patients with chronic refractory headache could be helped with new invasive procedures including bilateral occipital nerve stimulation and hypothalamic deep brain stimulation.

Nearly 120,000 Germans are affected by cluster headaches, which is the most common trigemino-autonomic headache. A unilateral short attack along with restlessness is a typical characteristic feature of cluster headache, the causes of which remain unclear. More often, it affects men than women in a ratio of 3.5:1.

Scientific evidence supports the fact that the pain attacks can be treated with trioptans or inhalation of pure oxygen. Authors suggest verapamil to be the drug of choice for prophylaxis with noteworthy effectiveness in the first week. An alternative treatment for the chronic disease state is lithium.

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