“With something like migraine, where there is a genetic component but there is also a huge environmental component, patients are looking for ways that are more natural and try to get at the main underlying issue with their migraines—their triggers.”

A number of sessions and presentations at the 2019 American Academy of Neurology’s (AAN) Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, focused on migraine. More specifically, several were centered on the complementary and alternative approaches to treating migraine, such as neuromodulation devices.

Huma Sheikh, MD, assistant professor, Neurology, Mount Sinai Health System, recently opened a private practice, New York Headache and Neurology Medicine, to focus on these approaches for her patients. Despite the recent—and welcomed—approval of a number of preventive medications targeting calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), and a few other oral abortive agents working their way toward a regulatory go-ahead, many patients have been refractory to oral treatments or simply don’t wish to undertake monthly or quarterly infusions. As such, the popularity of stimulation devices, acupuncture, and a number of other non-pharmacologic approaches to help combat chronic migraine and headaches has risen.

However, Sheikh noted that it’s important for physicians to utilize this more holistic approach to treating migraine in combination with the newly available agents. Ensuring that patients are being treated for this chronic condition with a multimodal methodology, she said, ensures not just that their experience with migraine will improve, but their overall health will improve.

To find out more about this shift in focus from organizations like AAN and the trend in medicine to approach patient care in a less segmented fashion, NeurologyLive spoke with Sheikh on the floor of the AAN annual meeting.

For more coverage of AAN 2019, click here.