Autoimmune Disease and Migraine: What’s the Link?

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Key Questions
  • What is autoimmune disease?
  • What are some of the most common autoimmune diseases?
  • Why are autoimmune diseases more common in women than in men?
  • What is Lyme disease, and is it an autoimmune disease?
  • What sort of specialist and credentials should you seek when deciding on a doctor to treat Lyme disease?
  • Is an autoimmune disease disorder a trigger or a comorbidity in someone with migraine?
  • What is the association between with autoimmune disease and migraine?
  • How well do researchers understand the link between autoimmune disorders and migraine?
  • What role does inflammation play in migraine and in autoimmune disorders?
  • How can we treat or manage inflammation?
  • Does a compromised immune system put someone at greater risk for migraine?
  • How do you treat and manage both migraine and autoimmune disease together?
  • Can multiple biological treatments for different diseases be used at the same time on a patient, such as a CGRP medication for migraine and a different biologic for an autoimmune disorder?
  • Can lifestyle changes — sleep, diet, exercise — be effective forms of treatment for migraine and autoimmune diseases?
  • Why is sleep important for reducing inflammation and for good health in general?
  • Why is exercise important for good health, including for migraine management?
  • Are there practical ways to boost your immune system against autoimmune disorders and COVID-19?
Interview Notes

Peter McAllister, MD, FAAN

Neurologist & Director
New England Center for Neurology and Headache

Dr. Peter McAllister is a board-certified neurologist and director of the New England Center for Neurology and Headache, where he sees adults and children (age 5 and older), and employs a holistic, biopsychosocial approach to diagnosis and treatment. Formerly director of the Headache Center, Concussion Center and Clinical Research at Associated Neurologists of Southern Connecticut, he holds clinical appointments at both Yale University School of Medicine and The Frank H. Netter School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University. Recognized as a “Top Doc” in Connecticut, metro N.Y., and Fairfield County, he is also listed as a “Top Neurologist” by U.S. News and World Report. He lectures nationally, has been a principal investigator on numerous clinical trials, and has authored articles in the lay and scientific press. His areas of expertise include headache of all types, concussion, multiple sclerosis, ADHD, Lyme disease, and complex neurological mysteries.

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