The Stanford Headache Program News & Events


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AHS Society Spotlight: Complementary and Integrative Medicine Section

Read all about the American Headache Society Complementary and Integrative Medicine Section, Chaired by Dr. Niushen Zhang. The Section aims to raise awareness about evidence-based therapies that can complement standard medical therapies.  

Surviving Migraine: Expert Insights On Migraine Diagnosis and Treatment

June is Migraine Awareness Month. WebMD Podcast. Dr. John Whyte sits down with two migraine experts, Dr. Cynthia E Armand, clinical director of Montefiore Headache Center and fellowship director of the Montefiore Headache Program, and Dr. Addie Peretz, board-certified neurologist and clinical assistant professor at Stanford Medicine, to discuss diagnostic criteria, cardiovascular risks, the impact of social determinants of health, support during reproductive years, and new treatment options to empower long-term migraine sufferers.

Migraine During Pregnancy and Lactation

In this recording of a Facebook Live event, Shoshana Lipson, executive director of Migraine Meanderings, welcomes Addie Peretz, MD as she answers Q&A about managing migraine during pregnancy and lactation.

An Effective Migraine Treatment Predates Modern Medicine

The sophisticated state of modern medicine has allowed a whole menu of effective migraine treatments to become available, from new oral medications to electronic headgear. But according to experts, sometimes the most effective treatment is one that’s been around for millennia.

Migraine Affects Men, Too

Recurrent headaches are the number-one cause of disability of people under age 50, but remain under-diagnosed. “I think there's actually a lot of misunderstanding of what migraine is, even within the medical community,” says Dr. Niushen Zhang, chief of the headache division at Stanford University’s Department of Neurology. “We think of it as sort of an invisible disease.”

Why Do My Migraine Attacks Get So Much Worse in the Winter?

“One of the interesting things we see clinically is that people often have a spike in migraine frequency right after the holiday season,” Niushen Zhang, MD, headache division chief and clinical associate professor of neurology at Stanford Medicine, tells SELF. Learn more about how to fend off migraine attacks this winter.

Here’s Why You Might Be Getting More Migraine Attacks Around Your Period, According to Neurologists

Between 60 and 70 percent of people assigned female at birth notice some connection between migraine attacks and menstruation. Read about why this happens and how to prevent migraine attacks triggered by your period.  

How to Make Sure Your Migraines Don’t Totally Derail Your Holiday Plans

“Migraine is a genetic disorder that causes the brain to be hypersensitive, especially to change,” Niushen Zhang, MD, the headache division chief and a clinical associate professor of neurology and neurological sciences at Stanford Medicine, tells SELF. Learn more about managing your pain, avoiding triggers, setting a routine and boundaries, and surrounding yourself with people who support you.

How to Take Care of Yourself If You Get Migraines During Your Period

Ready to get some relief? It’s important to figure out exactly when in your cycle you’re experiencing migraine attacks, how bad they tend to be, and whether they’re also happening outside of your period week. Learn more about tracking your symptoms, what medications and treatments might help for acute and long-term prevention, and always remember take time for self-care.

6 things people misunderstand about migraine attacks

Although migraine is quite common — affecting about 12 percent of the U.S. population — the neurological disease is often misdiagnosed and misunderstood, with people sometimes lumping headaches and migraine attacks together or underestimating how debilitating migraine can actually be.

A Personalized Approach to Managing Migraine With Complementary and Integrative Medicine

Listen to Niushen Zhang, MD, FAHS, Division Chief of  the Stanford Headache division and Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology & Neurological Sciences, discuss lifestyle modifications including aerobic exercise, sleep quality, behavioral therapies, nutrition and other strategies to combat migraine.

American Headache Society Update in Under 5 Minutes with Robert Cowan, MD

Robert Cowan, MD, talks about research on chronic/episodic migraine and how access barriers harm patients in this podcast hosted by Joe Coe from The Global Healthy Living Foundation.

How to Deal With a Stress Migraine When Life Is, Well, Stressful

While everyone has different migraine triggers, stress tops the list. What can you do to manage that stress? Niushen Zhang, MD, clinical assistant professor & chief of the Headache Division at Stanford discusses ways to get started.  

Post-epidural headaches can be more serious than previously known

Epidurals, one of the most common forms of pain relief used during labor and delivery, are considered both safe and effective, but they come with the caution that there is a small risk of headaches the first week or so after giving birth.

Robert Cowan, MD, on Sex and Race Disparities in Migraine Patients

Subgroup disparities such as sex and race are more significant among patients with migraine, according to the results of a recent study presented at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) 2021 Virtual Meeting.  Q&A with Robert Cowan, MD, FAAN, Clinical Professor of Neurology, on Sex and Race Disparities in Migraine Patients.  

Link found between cannabis and rebound headaches after migraine

People with chronic migraines who use cannabis products are much more likely to suffer from "rebound headaches" than those who don't use the drugs, a preliminary study suggests.

Your Everyday Guide to Living Well With Migraine

A variety of drug therapies, combined with lifestyle measures, can prevent migraine attacks or reduce their frequency and severity.

This List of Migraine Triggers Includes Much More Than Just Stress

This year has been undeniably stressful. If you’re experiencing more migraines, it could be because of stress, but the complete list of migraine triggers is long. Nada Hindiyeh, MD, a headache specialist and clinical assistant professor of neurology at Stanford University, says that migraines can happen when you deviate from your routine.

First IV Treatment to Prevent Migraine Attacks Approved by the Food and Drug Administration

For Robert Cowan, MD, professor of neurology and chief of the division of headache medicine at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, the dual benefit of prevention and fast symptom reduction of Vyepti may make it an attractive choice for some migraine sufferers.  The drug manufacturer expects Vyepti to be available to patients in the United States by April 2020.

Migraine & Cardiovascular Disease: The Missing Link

Several studies have established a link between migraine and CVD, particularly stroke and ischemic heart disease and this risk may be further increased in young women who have migraine with aura. 

Its important for physicians to consider these risks when talking to their patients with migraine and refer to a headache specialist when needed. 

10 Ways to Stop a Migraine Before It Starts

Keeping a diary of your triggers is one way to minimize your risk of a migraine. Find out what else you can do.

Please Don’t Call My Migraine ‘Just A Headache’

Migraines are debilitating; they’re not just little headaches. But people often misunderstand this and assume that a migraine isn’t a big deal. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Meredith Barad, a clinical associate professor of anesthesia and neurology at Stanford Hospital and Clinics discusses migraines and the prejudices that all pain patients experience.

Common Types of Migraine and Related Symptoms

Out of the 37 million Americans living with migraine, no two patients are exactly alike. Migraine attacks can occur in a variety of different frequencies and severities, and come with a wide range of symptoms. In a recent Facebook Live event hosted by the American Migraine Foundation, Dr. Nada Ahmad Hindiyeh, a neurologist and headache specialist at Stanford University, discussed the most common types of migraine attacks. By becoming aware of their symptoms, patients can work toward discovering the most effective treatment options for them.

5 Things to Know Before Beginning Acupuncture

For people living with migraine, acupuncture treatment can be an effective form of preventive treatment and pain management. In a recent Facebook Live, Dr. Niushen Zhang discussed five things you should know to determine if acupuncture is right for you. Dr. Zhang is the Director of the Headache Fellowship Program at Stanford University and trained in acupuncture at the Academy of Pain Research in San Francisco.

Headaches Sufferers: Are You Misdiagnosing Your Pain?

When a headache comes on, sometimes you can just pop a pill and the pain goes away—end of story. But not all headaches quit that easily. If you’ve had a few that made you nauseous and foggy-brained, you might automatically assume that you have migraines. If you’re congested, you might assume sinus headache. But the truth is that it’s easy to misdiagnose the type of headache you’re having. This guide will better help you interpret what you’re feeling so you can take the right action.

The Confusing Migraine: Aura Without Pain

It’s one of the scariest experiences you’re likely to have—suddenly and for no apparent reason, you see a blank, black area in your vision. Then come black zigzag lines, sparklers, brilliant globes of color or some other sort of light show. Next, these strange visual disturbances start moving to your other eye. You might think you’re losing your vision. But within an hour, the show is over, your vision is back to normal and you feel fine again. What’s going on?

Nada Hindiyeh, MD, director of clinical research and clinical assistant professor of neurology and neurological sciences, Stanford University explains.

8 Home Remedies for Migraine Pain

There are a lot of things that you can do to prevent headaches from starting in the first place,” says Robert P. Cowan, MD, a professor of neurology and the director of the Headache Program at Stanford University Medicine, as well as “to decrease their frequency, severity, and duration.” Here are eight ways in which you may be able to reduce migraine pain.

Stanford headache specialist demystifies migraine auras

Nada Hindiyeh, clinical assistant professor of neurology and neurological sciences, explains symptoms and causes of migraine auras. 

11 Ways To Stop A Migraine From Happening & Feel Better ASAP

Here are eleven ways to stop a migraine from happening and to start feeling back to normal and in a healthier state of mind.

Five Questions: Cowan on how to prevent, manage headaches

As someone who has managed his own migraines for years, Stanford headache expert Robert Cowan offers advice to those who experience chronic headaches.

'Alice in Wonderland Syndrome' Caused by Acid Flashback

Named after the famous children's book, "Alice in Wonderland Syndrome" is marked by visual disturbances that cause objects to look too big, too small, too close or too far away.

Pregnancy often leads to changes in migraines

Women who suffer from migraines may notice changes in their headache patterns when they're pregnant, experts say.