By Richard Asinof
PROVIDENCE – Women who are overweight and suffer from migraines are more likely to have frequent and severe headaches, according to researchers with The Miriam Hospital’s Weight Control and Diabetes Research. In response, the researchers have launched a new program, Women’s Migraine Health, to study new strategies for reducing and managing migraine headaches in this patient group. The initiative is being funded by the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
The program is designed to test two different behavioral treatments for reducing migraine headaches in women who are overweight. One will focus on changing weight-related behaviors such as diet and exercise, since previous studies have shown that weight loss can improve migraines. The other treatment will provide participants with education and instruction on migraine symptoms and triggers, standard medications to treat and prevent migraine headaches, and various behavioral and alternative treatments.
Miriam researchers will compare both treatments to determine which is most effective for reducing headache frequency in overweight women who suffer from migraines. Participants will be randomly assigned to 16 weekly group sessions of either treatment strategy and asked to keep track of their headaches for four weeks prior to treatment, after the treatment and at the end of the follow-up period.