'Milestones in Migraine Management' Introduced During National Headache Awareness Week

Jun 01, 2000, 01:00 ET from Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

    NEW YORK, June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- From exorcisms to ergotamines, from going
 under the knife to going over-the-counter, the history of migraine headache
 treatment is long and colorful.  National Headache Awareness Week
 (June 4 to 10) is a good time to take a look back at the astonishing progress
 scientists have made in treating the mysterious -- and painful -- condition of
 migraine headache.
     "We've come such a long way in treating migraine, even from just ten years
 ago," said Lawrence Newman, M.D., director of The Headache Institute at St.
 Luke's Roosevelt Hospital in New York.  "Today, we are better able to control
 the pain, nausea and other symptoms of migraine better than ever before,
 bringing relief to the estimated 25 million Americans who suffer from
 migraine."
     To showcase the progress made during the centuries-old war against
 migraine pain, Excedrin(R) Migraine, the first FDA-approved migraine
 medication available without a prescription, developed Milestones in Migraine
 Management, a timeline of the false starts, red herrings and ahead-of-their-
 time discoveries that have led to today's highly effective and accessible
 migraine therapies.
     Excedrin Migraine is made by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, a $20 billion
 diversified, global health and personal care company whose mission is to
 extend and enhance human life.
 
                       MILESTONES IN MIGRAINE MANAGEMENT
 
     In ancient civilizations, headaches were believed to be caused by evil
 spirits who inhabited the head.  The spirits were chased away with prayer or
 the application of some unpleasant substance, such as goat dung.  Severe
 headache was sometimes treated by trepanning -- boring a hole into the skull
 to release the evil inhabitant.
     Incredibly, this unscientific notion of pain being "all in your head"
 persisted all the way into the late 20th century.  Migraine was largely
 thought to be psychosomatic; sufferers were told to relax and sent to
 therapists and hypnotists.  Thankfully, contemporary research has revealed
 precise physical events that bring about migraine pain, legitimizing the
 condition and providing long overdue relief.
 
     500 B.C.  Hippocratic "Humors"
     Hippocrates asserted that headaches could be traced to "humors" (fluids or
 vapors circulating in the body).  To release the humors, he recommended
 bleeding and the application of herbs to the head.
 
     100 A.D.  Migraine Gets its Name
     The Roman physician Galen described and named the one-sided headaches
 characteristic of migraine.  His term "hemicrania" eventually evolved into our
 familiar word "migraine." Treatment with "liver pills" becomes popular and
 remains so all the way into the 20th century.
 
     1600's:  Swelled Heads
     English physician Thomas Willis suggested that the pain of "megrim," or
 migraine, was caused by swelling of blood vessels in the head ... an
 astonishingly accurate theory that was not scientifically confirmed until the
 1940's by Dr. Harold Wolff.
 
     1920's:  Gotta Get Ergotamines
     Ergot extracts -- a product of moldy bread -- had been used to treat
 headaches since the late 19th century.  In 1918, they were synthesized into
 ergotamine tartrate, a vasoconstrictive treatment initially used to control
 bleeding after childbirth.  In the 20's, however, ergotamines became the first
 pharmacological treatment for migraines.
 
     1950's:  Suddenly Seratonin
     Scientists first began to uncover the true nature of migraines in the
 1950's, when it was proposed that migraine attacks might be associated with
 abnormalities of the neurotransmitter seratonin.  Methysergide was developed
 to act on what was incorrectly thought to be one, simple seratonin system in
 the brain.  The success of this drug in alleviating migraine provided the
 first proof that the condition might be more physical than psychosomatic.
 
     1960's:  Polypharmacy
     As research into the seratonin system progressed, it was thought that
 there may be as many as six different neurotransmitters involved in the
 production of a migraine, prompting some physicians to prescribe three or four
 drugs simultaneously.
 
     1970's:  The Holistic Approach
     Perhaps as a backlash to the overmedicated 1960's, the 1970's brought on a
 wave of holistic approaches to migraine management:  stress reduction,
 relaxation, meditation, yoga, herbal remedies, acupuncture and various self-
 help methods using the will or the mind, aided by the newly developed
 techniques of bio-feedback.
 
     1980's:  Progress in Isolating the Cause of Migraine
     Scientists finally fully charted the complicated system of
 neurotransmitters and seratonin receptors, identifying one of them -- 5-HT1 --
 as the primary receptor responsible for migraine pain.  This important
 discovery led to the development of an agent called sumatriptan, which had its
 first highly successful trials in 1988, and paved the way for effective
 migraine treatments in the 1990s.
 
     1990's:  From Doctor's Office to Drugstore Shelf
     January 1998:  OTC Pain Relief ... and a Superbowl Stunner
     For the first time, the FDA approves a non-prescription medication for
 relief of migraine pain:  Excedrin Migraine.  Finally, a quick trip to the
 corner drugstore can provide migraine pain relief.  That same month, Denver
 Broncos star running back Terrell Davis is forced to leave Superbowl XXXII due
 to a migraine, opening many people's eyes to the seriousness of the condition.
 
         October 1999: OTC Rivals Rx
     Another "first" as the FDA grants an OTC treatment the same indication as
 prescription drugs.  Excedrin Migraine received an expanded indication to
 include the full migraine syndrome: pain plus associated symptoms of nausea,
 sensitivity to light and sound, and difficulty performing everyday activities.
 
     May 2000:  New Migraine Guidelines
     The U.S. Headache Consortium issues new Migraine Treatment Guidelines,
 intended to help doctors diagnose and treat tension and migraine headaches.
 For the first time, an OTC treatment, Excedrin Migraine, is recognized as a
 first-line therapy for migraine headache.
 
 

SOURCE Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
    NEW YORK, June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- From exorcisms to ergotamines, from going
 under the knife to going over-the-counter, the history of migraine headache
 treatment is long and colorful.  National Headache Awareness Week
 (June 4 to 10) is a good time to take a look back at the astonishing progress
 scientists have made in treating the mysterious -- and painful -- condition of
 migraine headache.
     "We've come such a long way in treating migraine, even from just ten years
 ago," said Lawrence Newman, M.D., director of The Headache Institute at St.
 Luke's Roosevelt Hospital in New York.  "Today, we are better able to control
 the pain, nausea and other symptoms of migraine better than ever before,
 bringing relief to the estimated 25 million Americans who suffer from
 migraine."
     To showcase the progress made during the centuries-old war against
 migraine pain, Excedrin(R) Migraine, the first FDA-approved migraine
 medication available without a prescription, developed Milestones in Migraine
 Management, a timeline of the false starts, red herrings and ahead-of-their-
 time discoveries that have led to today's highly effective and accessible
 migraine therapies.
     Excedrin Migraine is made by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, a $20 billion
 diversified, global health and personal care company whose mission is to
 extend and enhance human life.
 
                       MILESTONES IN MIGRAINE MANAGEMENT
 
     In ancient civilizations, headaches were believed to be caused by evil
 spirits who inhabited the head.  The spirits were chased away with prayer or
 the application of some unpleasant substance, such as goat dung.  Severe
 headache was sometimes treated by trepanning -- boring a hole into the skull
 to release the evil inhabitant.
     Incredibly, this unscientific notion of pain being "all in your head"
 persisted all the way into the late 20th century.  Migraine was largely
 thought to be psychosomatic; sufferers were told to relax and sent to
 therapists and hypnotists.  Thankfully, contemporary research has revealed
 precise physical events that bring about migraine pain, legitimizing the
 condition and providing long overdue relief.
 
     500 B.C.  Hippocratic "Humors"
     Hippocrates asserted that headaches could be traced to "humors" (fluids or
 vapors circulating in the body).  To release the humors, he recommended
 bleeding and the application of herbs to the head.
 
     100 A.D.  Migraine Gets its Name
     The Roman physician Galen described and named the one-sided headaches
 characteristic of migraine.  His term "hemicrania" eventually evolved into our
 familiar word "migraine." Treatment with "liver pills" becomes popular and
 remains so all the way into the 20th century.
 
     1600's:  Swelled Heads
     English physician Thomas Willis suggested that the pain of "megrim," or
 migraine, was caused by swelling of blood vessels in the head ... an
 astonishingly accurate theory that was not scientifically confirmed until the
 1940's by Dr. Harold Wolff.
 
     1920's:  Gotta Get Ergotamines
     Ergot extracts -- a product of moldy bread -- had been used to treat
 headaches since the late 19th century.  In 1918, they were synthesized into
 ergotamine tartrate, a vasoconstrictive treatment initially used to control
 bleeding after childbirth.  In the 20's, however, ergotamines became the first
 pharmacological treatment for migraines.
 
     1950's:  Suddenly Seratonin
     Scientists first began to uncover the true nature of migraines in the
 1950's, when it was proposed that migraine attacks might be associated with
 abnormalities of the neurotransmitter seratonin.  Methysergide was developed
 to act on what was incorrectly thought to be one, simple seratonin system in
 the brain.  The success of this drug in alleviating migraine provided the
 first proof that the condition might be more physical than psychosomatic.
 
     1960's:  Polypharmacy
     As research into the seratonin system progressed, it was thought that
 there may be as many as six different neurotransmitters involved in the
 production of a migraine, prompting some physicians to prescribe three or four
 drugs simultaneously.
 
     1970's:  The Holistic Approach
     Perhaps as a backlash to the overmedicated 1960's, the 1970's brought on a
 wave of holistic approaches to migraine management:  stress reduction,
 relaxation, meditation, yoga, herbal remedies, acupuncture and various self-
 help methods using the will or the mind, aided by the newly developed
 techniques of bio-feedback.
 
     1980's:  Progress in Isolating the Cause of Migraine
     Scientists finally fully charted the complicated system of
 neurotransmitters and seratonin receptors, identifying one of them -- 5-HT1 --
 as the primary receptor responsible for migraine pain.  This important
 discovery led to the development of an agent called sumatriptan, which had its
 first highly successful trials in 1988, and paved the way for effective
 migraine treatments in the 1990s.
 
     1990's:  From Doctor's Office to Drugstore Shelf
     January 1998:  OTC Pain Relief ... and a Superbowl Stunner
     For the first time, the FDA approves a non-prescription medication for
 relief of migraine pain:  Excedrin Migraine.  Finally, a quick trip to the
 corner drugstore can provide migraine pain relief.  That same month, Denver
 Broncos star running back Terrell Davis is forced to leave Superbowl XXXII due
 to a migraine, opening many people's eyes to the seriousness of the condition.
 
         October 1999: OTC Rivals Rx
     Another "first" as the FDA grants an OTC treatment the same indication as
 prescription drugs.  Excedrin Migraine received an expanded indication to
 include the full migraine syndrome: pain plus associated symptoms of nausea,
 sensitivity to light and sound, and difficulty performing everyday activities.
 
     May 2000:  New Migraine Guidelines
     The U.S. Headache Consortium issues new Migraine Treatment Guidelines,
 intended to help doctors diagnose and treat tension and migraine headaches.
 For the first time, an OTC treatment, Excedrin Migraine, is recognized as a
 first-line therapy for migraine headache.
 
 SOURCE  Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

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