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Dr. Frank
Dr. Frank, Board Certified Physician
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 8999
Experience:  Board certified general Adult Neurologist, with experience in experimental neuroimaging and neurodiagnostics.
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I am 41 years old. I have suffered chronic headaches since I

Customer Question

Hi there. I am 41 years old. I have suffered chronic headaches since I was around 16. In the last 4-6 months it's been getting worse, to the point I don't want to do anything as activity makes it worse. Other symptoms I am experiencing are as follows: stiff/sore neck, constant muscle aches in mainly left side of body, jaw tension, vision deterioration/focus problems, losing my words, short term memory loss, nausea, aversion to loud noise, sweating profusely at rest, constant fatigue, mood changes. I have been diagnosed with slight scoliosis in my early 20's, also was told my cervical spine is misaligned and I was probably born with it. I had CAT scans in late teens which produced a negative result.
I recently had an MRI, which found 'very small high FLAIR signal foci within the deep white matter. My doctor has now advised I need to get an EEG. My doctor hasn't asked for a list of my symptoms so is unaware of what I am experiencing. I have no idea what might be wrong with me. It's affecting my daily life so far as I am not being able to go to work, and every day activities are becoming increasingly harder to deal with due to pain/fatigue. Please advise what I should do or expect.
Thank you
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Dr. Frank replied 8 months ago.

Your MRI findings are consistent with your diagnosis of migraine, did your neurologist mention that to you? If triptan medications for abortive treatment is not sufficient to treat your condition, you have to add a preventative agent. The most common is topiramate these days. Topamax is an antiepileptic medication that has been shown effective in reducting the frequency and intensity of each migraine. With all of your mood changes and other symptoms, an SSRI medication might be more effective in your treatment. Sertraline (Zoloft) that you take at night is a good idea, or a tricyclic medication like imipramine or tofranil. I hope that helps. Please get back to me with questions is I can help, or if satisfied, please remember to rate my service by clicking on the rating stars, as that is how I am compensated for this work thanks Dr frank

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I haven't seen a neurologist. I have to go and see one for the EEG. My doctor hasn't told me anything at all.
I have previously been on Zoloft for post natal depression, and I will not go on anti depressants again. I'm also not depressed, just tired of these terrible symptoms.
Do chronic headaches cause a person to forget things and have trouble finding words?
I have looked at migraine symptoms and I don't seem to fit into that category at all. Although I may be wrong.
Can chronic headache cause profuse sweating while at rest?
And the left side body/muscle pain/stiffness?
Also, can chronic headache cause constant fatigue?
This latest headache has been persisting for three weeks. I am lucky to get any relief at all. And by relief I mean I still have a headache, but it's less likely to effect my every day activities.
Thank you
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Also I haven't been diagnosed with migraine.
Expert:  Dr. Frank replied 8 months ago.

Pseudodementia, or dementia as related to depression, causes short term memory loss, thought blocking or an inability to come up with the appropriate words, and a decrease in affect. Are you in denial about depression. Headaches in women, when you group them, are about 85% migraine or vascular in origin. So I would ask you to reconsider your statement about depression, because it might not be what you think it is. Using SSRI medications for migraine is totally different than for depression. the doses are usually around 25% that for depression. So for elavil for example (amitriptyline) the depression dose is around 200 mg, but the migraine dose is 25 mg. One thing I noted about your description is the degree of muscular tension you have. you might consider another option for intractable migraine, that is you have 14 or more headaches a month, and each longer than 3 hours. BOTOX may be helpful used every 3 months, and you might ask your doctor, it would be a substitute for an SSRI if you are opposed. I hope that helps. Please get back to me to discuss this further if I can help from here. Dr frank

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