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Orly Avitzur, M.D., neurologist and migraineur.
When were you first diagnosed with migraine? About 12 years ago. I was examining a patient and started to see flickering in my right peripheral field of vision. I thought the fluorescent ceiling light was on the fritz, but when I returned to my computer, I found that the right half of the screen was fuzzy. It was my first migraine.
What big breakthroughs have been made in migraine treatment? Triptans, which came out in 1992, have improved the outlook for patients. I remember the week sumatriptan was first released because I was in the hospital having a C-section, and my secretary was deluged with calls asking for a prescription.
How do you manage your migraines? I find that it helps to avoid certain food triggers such as red wine, get regular sleep, and minimize my caffeine intake.
Has having migraines changed your practice? Yes. I discuss triggers with all my patients and give them a packet of information I've read or written over the years.