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324 total posts
Currently suffering :(
Hello to all,
Yes I am back. Some persuasive PMs from other users coupled with my own pathological need to help others with CH has convinced me that (mainly through my specialist's research) I may occasionally still have something valuable to contribute for the benefit of others. I recently saw that one of my posts on Aspirin directly helped another CH patient. This helped someone. A positive outcome - Great news.

Isn't that what this is all about?
I can't ignore the compulsion within me to help, at least between attacks anyway.

I will spare you all my expansive writing style as seen in my previous posts.
I apologise to those that were offended. I have stated my convictions in previous posts.
I will tone it down and stick to research and new ideas only.

Thanks for everyone's support.

Onto some ideas that Barry was talking about on "Latitude and atitude".

My specialist spends a lot of time jetting around the world working on CH. He has reported some interesting ideas back to me. He commented on recent links between SAD and CH.
Being a jetsetter himself, moving throughout many timezones, he knows the feeling of upset circadian rhythm personally. He told me of CH patients going into spontaneous remission or into a CH phase when moving into or away from areas like Alaska, where it can be light or dark for most of each season. There seems to be some merit in the idea that light/dark cycles affect the Hypothalamus and thus our respective CH conditions.

I want to throw some ideas around about links between Circadian Rythyms, Melatonin, Hypothalamus, Light and dark periods, light therapies, sleep cycles and any observations people out there might make on the subject.

Please expand on the idea, or include your experiences with CH in relation to travel in and out of areas where the light/dark cycles are greatly varied e.g. polar regions vs Equatorial regions. I have very little experience in this area and would be interested to hear what others think.

Some starting points:

Funct Neurol. 1998 Jul-Sep;13(3):263-72.
Cluster headache and periodic affective illness: common chronobiological features.

Costa A, Leston JA, Cavallini A, Nappi G.

University Centre for Adaptive Disorders and Headache (UCADH), Section of Pavia I, Italy.

Many of the seasonal changes occurring in animals appear to be associated with photoperiodic modifications, and particularly with the duration of the phases of exposure to light and dark. The integration of these processes is made possible by the normal functioning of biological oscillators or synchronizers, presumably located at the hypothalamic level. Cluster headache (CH), seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and bipolar mood disorders are conditions bearing numerous analogies, particularly as regards the temporal pattern of disturbances, the nature of predisposing or precipitating factors, the peculiar relationship with sleep, the neuroendocrine findings, and the clinical response to current treatments. The secretion of melatonin, which is influenced by the light/dark cycle, displays a bimodal pattern, which is likely to be dictated by the activity of distinct synchronizers for light and dark. Changes in the secretory pattern of this neurohormone have also been documented in both CH and SAD. The possibility of normalizing the secretory rhythm of melatonin by means of phototherapy in SAD, and the therapeutic use of the hormone to prevent the recurrence of active phases in CH, represent further interesting similarities between these two disorders. Melatonin, acting as a unique neuroendocrine transductor of photic inputs, may therefore be viewed as a marker of dyschronic disease to be used in patients suffering from CH and affective illness, for both diagnostic purposes and to assess the response to pharmacological and non pharmacological treatments.

Child Psychiatry Hum Dev. 2001 Fall;32(1):45-54.
Serotonin mediated cluster headache, trigeminal neuralgia, glossopharyngeal neuralgia, and superior laryngeal neuralgia with SAD chronicity.

Weiss JL, Weiss KL, Benecke SM.

University of Michigan, 1500 East Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0030, USA.

Cluster headache is a rare and severe pain syndrome with elusive pathophysiology. Serotonin pathways within the brainstem may be implicated in cluster headache with seasonal affective disorder and a subset of cranial nerve neuralgias. We describe and chronicle a syndrome consisting of cluster headache, seasonal affective disorder, with associated trigeminal, glossopharyngeal, superior laryngeal neuralgias in an 11-year-old female. Pharmacologic interventions for this patient were examined in conjunction with current classification, location and function of serotonin receptors. Etiology is postulated as mixed cranial nerve excitation via endogenous 5-HT (agonist) activity of 5-HT3 receptors within the nucleus tractus solitarius and trigeminal tract nucleus.
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606 total posts
Not currently suffering :D
Hi Ben.
Very glad to see you back. May I extend a personal apology for having offended you, it was very much unintended.
cheers Peter.
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765 total posts
Currently suffering :(
Hi Ben
Delighted to have you back.
There is so much information "out there" and within us. Oh, to get all that knowledge together and to learn from it.
I am stumbling a little after my op; but remain green.
On a personal note; I too remain within the forum due to PMs thanking me.
Knowing you have helped just makes it all worthwhile even when feeling the demon raging within oneself.
Will do some thinking on your post above
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324 total posts
Currently suffering :(
Thanks to the welcoming committee for the warm welcome.

Has anyone had any input to contribute to the SAD/CH theories yet?
I will be seeking melatonin soon and I am looking for some experiences from others.
How sleep patterns are affected, or disrupted etc.
I am quite interested to get into this topic for discussion.

I have been getting on average 4 hours per day sleep anywhere in the 24 hour period in the past few weeks and I am left very tired during the day, having naps after Imigran use etc.
Feeling sleepy behind the wheel, yes it is dangerous, I know.
I take rests if it is bad.

I will be back in consultation with my specialist in 2 weeks after a record equalling remission of 9 months - something I have not experienced since 1996.

I saw the first March fly on the ground a few weeks ago and bang - my CH fires up again.
These flies know when to hatch, right down to the nearest week out of a calendar year.
Would it be any co-incidence that my CH usually flares up at this time?
When I first see a March fly each year, I almost go into spontaneous panic at the mere thought of oncoming CH (if it isn't already full on).

There has to be something the brain is recognising, in order to go into CH with such regularity. This is why I am sniffing around the links with SAD, Hypothalamus dysfunction etc...

Any ideas???

Cheers, Ben.
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From: Dalby
158 total posts
Not currently suffering :D
Hi Ben
You raise many interesting questions - and a quick search of "cluster headaches and melatonin" reveals heaps of info - particularly from the US where melatonin is (I believe) available without prescription. Here's one as a starting point -

Barry also raises interesting questions with his post "something worth taking a look at" in which he suggests the merit of vitamin D3. Since melatonin and D3 both have something to do with sunlight, I googled "melatonin and D3" and came up with another point to ponder -

The following site contains a paragraph which explores the link between vitamin D3 deficiency and depression, in particularly SAD - so a discussion with your specialist re the benefits of D3 supplementation may also be worthwhile.

Anyway Ben, all the best with your search for answers

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