UC San Diego Health opens new headache treatment, research center
UC San Diego Health has opened a multidisciplinary center in Sorrento Valley that will provide specialized care for headache pain, including migraine and long-term side effects of traumatic brain injuries, it was announced Thursday.
Headaches are one of the most common disorders of the body's nervous system, with 60 million Americans living with chronic migraine and headache, according to the American Academy of Neurology.
"Ten percent of primary care visits are focused on headache and migraine, and many of these individuals require specialized care in order to improve their symptoms," said Dr. Nina Riggins, neurologist and headache specialist at UCSD Health, and director of the new center. "In partnership with primary care, women's health, interventional radiology, neurosurgery, spine and pain specialists, and others, we will treat individuals dealing with serious, debilitating headache disease, with a targeted therapeutic approach."
According to the university health system, patients will have access to "both inpatient and outpatient treatment options, neuromodulation devices, nerve blocks, trigger point injections, Sphenopalatine ganglion blocks, Botox, otoneurology, infusion, integrative medicine such as acupuncture, and other interventions."
"At this center, patients will have access to an integrated and coordinated breadth of care across specialties that would otherwise have to be separately navigated," said Dr. James Brewer, chair of the Department of Neurosciences at UCSD School of Medicine and neurologist at UCSD Health. "This center will apply UC San Diego innovations to the care of patients with headache, and will train the next generation of practitioners in this new model of cross-specialty care."
A team of clinicians, surgeons, nurses, nurse practitioners and other specialists will be available for each patient. Each clinic room is equipped with green light, which has been shown to decrease symptoms of headache, sensitivity to light and anxiety.
The Headache Center is also a place of research and education on headache and traumatic brain injury. Current clinical trials include studies of new medications, including calcitonin gene-related peptide blockers.