Inflammation & Chronic Migraine

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Key Questions
  • What role does inflammation play in chronic migraine and other systemic diseases?
  • What are autoimmune disorders, and how are they related to inflammation?
  • Are there autoimmune disorders that are comorbid with migraine?
  • Is migraine considered an autoimmune disorder?
  • Are there clear biomarkers that indicate inflammation?
  • What lifestyle behaviors can help reduce inflammation?
  • What is central sensitization?
  • Who should consider getting tested for inflammatory markers or autoimmune conditions?
  • Can neuromodulation help reduce inflammation?
Interview Notes
Treatments Mentioned
  • Acupuncture
  • C-reactive protein (CRP) test
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) test
  • Exercise
  • Ice packs
  • Indomethacin
  • Mediterranean diet
  • Neuromodulation devices
  • Omega-3s
  • Sleep
  • Stress management
  • Vagus (vagal) nerve stimulation

Please note: The Migraine World Summit’s aim is to bring you a variety of perspectives and expertise, independent of bias or judgment. Alternative theories presented in this video have not been medically reviewed. Views expressed in this interview do not necessarily represent the views of the Migraine World Summit. Please always consult your health care professional and do your own research before making changes to your treatment plan.

Gretchen E. Tietjen, MD

Professor Emerita of Neurology
University of Toledo

Dr. Gretchen E. Tietjen is a graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School and its neurology residency program. She is a Distinguished University Professor Emerita of neurology at the University of Toledo, where she founded the Department of Neurology in 2000 and led as chair until 2020.

Specializing in headache medicine and vascular neurology, she also directed the Stroke Center for 15 years and the Headache Treatment and Research Center for over two decades. Her research focuses on the relationship between migraine and stroke, including the investigation of the vascular biology in migraine, the association of childhood maltreatment and migraine, and the effects of early life stress on vascular and brain biology in a rodent model.

Dr. Tietjen has published over 160 peer-reviewed papers, book chapters, reviews, and editorials. Her research has garnered national awards, including the Stroke Innovation Award from the journal Stroke and the Association of Migraine Disorders Innovation Award, as well as the American Headache Society’s Seymour Solomon Lecture Award, the Harold G. Wolff Lecture Award, the John R. Graham Lecture Award, the Women’s Health Research Lecture Award, and the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award from the AHS.

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