Migraine and other forms of severe headaches are disabling disorders of the nervous system that affect hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide. While for many they occur episodically and infrequently, for others they are a chronic problem that interferes with all aspects of their daily lives. The UCLA Headache Research and Treatment Program takes a multidisciplinary approach to headache disorders with a focus on:

Our laboratories use a variety of cutting edge techniques to try to increase the understanding of the basic causes of migraine, to identify new treatments, and to bring these new treatments to patients.

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Studies with patients are aimed at characterizing the clinical features of migraine and determining the effectiveness of new therapies.

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A primary focus of the program is to educate medical and graduate students, residents, fellows, and physician and scientist colleagues regarding the basic and clinical aspects of migraine and the management of migraine patients

We strive to provide state-of-the art care for patients with headache disorders, and to educate patients about their conditions to enable them to participate in their treatment and facilitate improvement of their symptoms.

Migraine: Questions and Answers for patients.

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Our faculty provide consultations for patients with headache, facial pain, and related symptoms. Our evaluation of patients includes:

Diagnosis:

The first step in the best management of headache disorders is an accurate diagnosis. Making this diagnosis involves collecting information about a patient history, performing a neurological examination, and obtaining any necessary tests (such as scans or blood tests).

Acute Therapy:

This refers to treatments that are used to stop a headache attack when it occurs. The goal is to provide patients with a plan for how to most effectively respond to a headache episode once it has begun.

Preventive Therapy:

This refers to treatments that are used on a daily basis to prevent headache episodes from occurring. Preventive therapy is typically reserved for patients for whom headaches occur frequently, or are inadequately treated with acute therapy.

Identification of exacerbating factors:

Headache disorders can be made worse by a variety of environmental conditions, lifestyle habits, or medications. In some patients, relatively minor changes to address these exacerbating factors can lead to a substantial improvement in headache frequency and severity.