Monday, November 05, 2007

migraine news roundup 47

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Scientists say they have developed a device that can detect the chemicals in such foods as red wine and cheese that trigger headaches in some people.

Device Created for 'Red Wine Headache'

The prototype - the size of a small briefcase - uses a drop of wine to determine amine levels in five minutes, Mathies said. A startup company he co-founded is working to create a smaller device the size of a personal digital assistant that people could take to restaurants and test their favorite wines.

The researchers found the highest amine levels in red wine and sake and the lowest in beer. For now, the device only works with liquids.

Mathies suggests the device could be used to put amine levels on wine labels.

The most common treatment for sleep apnea, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), may help people with depression.

Sleep Apnea Treatment Improves Depression

The Wall Street Journal Health Blog reports about the growing trend of psychiatric advance directives.

In Case of Psychiatric Crisis, Read This
A living will focuses primarily on “forgoing unwanted treatment,” Swanson said. “The goal of the psychiatric advanced directive is to [help you] recover. You’re trying, in a way, to protect yourself from decisions you might make when you’re ill.”

Swanson explained that an advance directive helps people to maintain some autonomy when they otherwise lose their ability to decide. But there can be legitimate questions about whether patients are thinking clearly when they create PADs, or what to do if they say later that they don’t want to follow their PADs, he said.

Though PADs are legal documents, most state laws on the subject contain override clauses, Swanson said. In a crisis, a doctor can invoke his or her clinical judgment to act in the best interest of the patient, essentially ignoring the PAD. Empirical data are hard to come by. But “clinical experience and anecdotal reports suggest that overrides occur with some frequency,” according to a commentary Swanson published last year in the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law.

You may have encountered ads for pepper-based products claiming to treat migraines and other headaches. The New York Times recently summed up the research that has been conducted on this purported remedy. Oddly enough, there is good reason to think peppers may help with headaches.

The Claim: Cayenne Peppers Can Cure Headaches
[A] number of studies have tested the claim, and most have found evidence to support it.
The Associated Press also covered pepper/pain claims: Doctors Test Hot Sauce for Pain Relief.

CNN offers important advice for preventing pharmacy errors.

Don't Be a Victim of Pharmacy Errors

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