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Headache-Adviser Newsletter, Issue #015-Is Your Doctor An Expert?
March 30, 2009
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Is Your Doctor An Expert?

Recently I have been compiling a list of doctors who are specialists in headache in the US. The thought occurred to me though, what makes a good specialist and how do you know if your doctor is one?

A few years ago, a new board specialty was developed for doctors. This specialty is in headache and those physicians who are board certified can claim to be experts in this area. According to my supervising physician, Dr. Laszlo Mechtler (picture on left) the exam was "challenging". He did pass and is considered a headache expert.

If you are seeing a doctor who says he is an expert in headaches, don't be afraid to ask about this board specialty. After all, would you trust a surgeon who was not board certified?

My point is that you deserve to have the best for your pain treatment. If there is no headache clinic in your immediate area, search the internet to find one and then ask your insurance company for an out-of-plan consultation. Many companies will approve one visit to a headache center for diagnostic purposes and you may be able to take new ideas and recommendations back to someone who can implement them.

Don't worry about getting a second opinion..any good practitioner would welcome such an opinion as a "fresh look".

Cymbalta For Headaches?

In addition to considering Namenda to treat severe migraine, there has been some recent interest in using Cymbalta(duloxitine) to prevent chronic migraines. This medication helps promote levels of seratonin and norepinephrine in the brain.

It also affects the perception of pain through the spinal cord. Indicated for fibromyalgia, anxiety and peripheral neuropathy, this might be a nice option for migraine. Several of the receptors for anxiety are similar to the migraine receptors (seratonin).

I have been in contact with Lilly, the makers of Cymbalta and we are hoping to develop a pilot study at the Dent Headache Center. More updates on that later!

What's New At Headache-Adviser.com?

If you haven't visited the website lately, I have a new section called "Ask The Expert".

So far it has been exciting as several people have sent me their questions. One case in particular came from a fellow physician assistant regarding her son. It was a perfect example of basilar migraine.

If you have questions about your headaches, medications or therapies to try, do not hesitate to ask me. (No charge!)
I hope you are doing well...

Here's To Headache Free Days

Take care..

Mary Kay Betz, MS RPA-C
Physician Assistant




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