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

Medical Director
New England Institute for Neurology & Headache

Dr. Peter McAllister is board certified in neurology and headache medicine. He is the medical director of the New England Institute for Neurology and Headache and chief medical officer of the New England Institute for Clinical Research and Ki Clinical Research in Stamford, Connecticut.

Dr. McAllister is an associate professor of neurology at the Yale University School of Medicine and clinical professor of neurology and anatomy at the Frank H. Netter School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and an executive board member of the Headache Cooperative of New England.

He is recognized as a “Top Neurologist” by U.S. News & World Report and also listed as a “Top Doc” in Connecticut, metropolitan New York City, and Fairfield County. Dr. McAllister lectures internationally, has been a principal investigator on over 350 clinical trials, and has authored more than 100 articles and book chapters in the lay and scientific press.

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