Use of Barometric Pressure Data in Management of Migraine

Migraine headache can get you out of your routine
Migraine headache can get you out of your routine

Use of Barometric Pressure Data in the Management of Migraine

This March 2015 migraine blog below is now my primary blog on this topic. I also give away FREE access codes to the Elecont eWeather HD app:

Weather App Helps Manage Barometric Pressure Related Migraine Headache

Barometric Pressure graph reveals steep drop and rise which can trigger micraine headache
Barometric Pressure graph reveals steep drop and rise which can trigger micraine headache

Migraine and weather related headaches affect some 15% or more of the population. In more recent years, much has been written about the connection between weather patterns and headache, where falling barometric pressure and rising humidity can often trigger migraine headaches, which are “low pressure” headaches characterized by dilated blood vessels in the brain. The most popular over the counter migraine medicine, Excedrin, then combines aspirin or Tylenol with caffeine (as a vasoconstrictor) to combat this medical sequel of dilated blood vessels. But, it is helpful to know during initial onset of a headache, if it in fact is barometric pressure induced so that you choose the right medicine and treatment.

I personally live with the medical condition hydrocephalus, and as a neuroscientist, I provide patient consults, neurological monitoring, advise on the role of technology, and provide drum circle workshops for health & wellness. Still, for me and so many other Americans, migraine headache and weather related triggers, pose regular challenges. So I turn to technology for a solution.

Over the last several years, I have come to use two separate weather sources for obtaining the much needed correlating weather data. They are:

1) http://www.wunderground.com/

2) http://www.elecont.com/ 

Elecont is a high tech mobile phone weather app  It’s $4.99 on Android and $3.99 on Apple stores. I have FREE access codes to download the Android version.

Barometric Pressure Data.March 22.2014.jpg

The barometric pressure data that these sites and apps offer is then extraordinarily useful in monitoring and pain management of migraine headaches, especially in hydrocephalus. I’ve inserted 3 weather data photos here, if they load correctly. They include a jpeg image of barometric pressure up thru 6pm on March 23, 2014, showing a rapid rise in pressure between 8am and 11am, which can trigger a high pressure headache, which would be more unique I think for persons with hydrocephalus. At 11am, I felt it likely was the trigger of that headache on that morning. Also, a 2nd bit of data that was helpful was the rising humidity at 11am, known to also act as a trigger for headache.

I didn’t save the inserted until about 6pm that day, which shows the pressure leveling off by 12 noon. This leveling also corresponded to a leveling off of my headache, though it took 2-3 hours, or around 3pm. I had been noticing over the last several months that I was suffering from headaches often as the barometric pressure was rising. So when I saw the big spike by 11am, I knew I was in for a rough headache day, and adjusted my medication & activity schedule accordingly. I was happy that the pressure leveled off and stayed level for the afternoon, as it allowed my headache to dissipate by 3pm.

More often, migraine will be triggered by “falling” barometric pressure. There is specific diagnostic significance for those who might experience headache during a rising barometric pressure. I can’t advise you here without any supporting medical history. So I recommend you speak to your neurologist or neurosurgeon as to the significance of your pressure correlation.

In hydrocephalus, a headache from rising pressure would indicate either an increased sensitivity to pressure changes from hydrocephalus that is not well arrested after shunting or ETV, and/or during periods of increased intracranial pressure, or ICP. It is conceivable that a headache response from a high pressure weather front might also indicate “shunt malfunction” in hydrocephalus, should you not normally get a headache from rising pressure. what was also significant in my case on this day, is that as soon as the pressure leveled off, so did my headache, though by about two hours. The dissipation with leveling pressure also served to confirm the weather correlation. As I’ve been using this weather data for 3-4 years now, the correlation then served as biofeedback in management experience.

I am working on developing a mobile app for hydrocephalus monitoring, called the DiaCeph Test, which will incorporate weather data in the interface and during monitoring, to correlate and help in management of headache from barometric pressure weather changes. I first applied for patent for my DiaCeph Test way back in 1997, and was considered a visionary for this, and apps did not yet exist. It was going to run as a stand-alone PDA. So, I was one of the earliest pioneers of mobile apps, before they were even possible. Also around that time, scientists at the University of Pittsburgh and Henry Ford Center in Detroit, introduced a software method of monitoring sports concussion, called the Impact Test.

Please contact me if you are interested in helping to develop these neurological apps.

May you ride out your headaches like a surfer thru a wave!

Stephen Dolle
http://www.dollecommunications.com

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Hydrocephalus and NPH Monitoring by Stephen Dolle of Dolle Communications

Welcome to my NPH and Hydrocephalus Shunt Monitoring Services

My name is Stephen Dolle and I am a neuroscience researcher and medical (shunt) device consultant for the disorder, hydrocephalus. While my Test Test is yet to be made into a mobile app (few apps for chronic disorders are available today), I provide FREE forms & instructions that patients and families can use. Or, you can pay me to guide you thru the monitoring process, where I can also write up diagnostic reports for your doctors. My fees for this are $125/hour. More information is also available on my web site regarding consulting and monitoring at hydrocephalus treatment & forms. These forms are a great way to keep track of your hydrocephalus history of complaints. Below, I discuss what the monitoring forms and user instructions do, and share some of my patient’s monitoring reports.

The DiaCeph paper methodology could easily be produced as a mobile data app.

I became scientifically involved in CNS shunts and shunt monitoring in 1994, several years after a brain injury and onset of hydrocephalus. I had performed shuntograms and cisternograms for hydrocephalus as a nuclear medicine technologist from 1976-1992 before succumbing to the condition myself. So I was quite familiar with hydrocephalus. But it was two years after my own onset of hydrocephalus with a slew of all too common complications, that I became scientifically involved first as an FDA patient advocate, and eventually, as inventor of the DiaCeph Test – an mHealth app that was to run on a PDA and monitor hydrocephalus as early as 1999.

Knowledge is Power
Knowledge is Power

From 1999-2003, I worked with my start-up company, DiaCeph, Inc., developing the concept and trying to raise funds for development. I continued some FDA patient advocacy thru 2007, but eventually moved on into other interests in the neurosciences, most notably, putting on drumming events and drumming for the brain workshops. I continued to stay abreast of CNS shunt technology. And in 2009, I began providing NPH hydrocephalus shunt monitoring and patient consults. Information about these services can be found via the link below.

Dolle Communications Web Site – Hydrocephalus Monitoring

Brain Diagram of Ventricles often Enlarged in Hydrocephalus
Brain Diagram of Ventricles often Enlarged in Hydrocephalus

My drumming workshops became very successful. In Sept. 2015, I put on two drumming workshops and proposed a “Drum-Off for Hydrocephalus” at the National Hydrocephalus Foundation’s PATIENT POWER Conference in Anaheim, California. Feel free to speak to Debbi Fields as to the success of these drum circles.

Below are my July 2016 updated DiaCeph NPH & hydrocephalus monitoring forms and instructions. They are also pictured below as images. New to this series, is a historical flow chart (2nd below) for retrospectively plotting hydrocephalus complaint levels vs shunt opening pressures for any period from a few months up to 10 or 15 years. The instructions for how to do this are included in the back of my July 2016 DiaCeph NPH Hydrocephalus Monitoring Instructions. You are free to download and use these forms. These are also available on my SlideShare.net – SEE further below. Or, you may download from my web site (once I’ve updated it there) hydrocephalus treatment & forms. This is a good way to keep track of your hydrocephalus history of complaints.

Diaceph 5 day 7 marker NPH hydrocephalus shunt monitoring form
Diaceph 5 day 7 marker NPH hydrocephalus shunt monitoring form
Diaceph NPH hydrocephalus historical shunt outcomes flow chart
Diaceph NPH hydrocephalus historical shunt outcomes flow chart

DiaCeph Test MONITORING INSTRUCTIONS

DiaCeph Test MONITORING FORM

DiaCeph Test FLOW CHART

Below are two sample patient reports from hydrocephalus consults I’ve done over the last 7 years. I have permission to host & share these two patient reports so that others affected by hydrocephalus can learn of these new methods in hydrocephalus monitoring.

In the first report, the patient collected 2 weeks of monitoring data via a journal I provided him, and then returned the completed journal via Fed-Ex. From this data, I created ICP graphs using the Microsoft Excel program. And I then interpreted the graphs and wrote up a 15 page report for he and his doctors.

In the second report, I reviewed an NPH patient’s CT and MRI brain scans and medical history for signs of shunt malfunction, aging, and brain atrophy. I then wrote up a report for the patient, and a second report for his physician.

I provide these consults as a medical (shunt) device consultant, mHealth designer, and former imaging consultant. These two reports are as follows:

NPH DiaCeph Monitoring Report #1 on SlideShare.net

 

NPH Consult Report #2 on SlideShare.net

 

Below, are the same (2) DiaCeph Monitoring reports from above, but on my web site as a web page (Report #1), and as PDF files (Reports #1 & #2) for download:

 

NPH DiaCeph Monitoring Report #1 (as web page)

Url address graphic
Url address graphic

NPH DiaCeph Monitoring Report #1 (as PDF file)

DiaCeph Hydrocephalus Monitoring Booklet
DiaCeph Hydrocephalus Monitoring Booklet

NPH Consult Report #2 (as PDF file)

DiaCeph Hydrocephalus Monitoring Booklet
DiaCeph Hydrocephalus Monitoring Booklet

I write about mHealth mobile apps for managing neurological disorders and hydrocephalus. Below is a popular blog on managing migraine with weather apps.

Mobile Apps to help in Management of Weather Related Migraine

The Elecont HD app provides an hour by hour barometric pressure reading that can be used to help manage migraine headache.
The Elecont HD app provides an hour by hour barometric pressure reading that can be used to help manage migraine headache.

This next blog also contains links to many of the mobile apps I have used or recommend for hydrocephalus and related neurological disorders. You will find the links at the bottom of the blog.

Design and Best Use of MHealth Apps

mHealth Apps in Neurology
mHealth Apps in Neurology

Below is a tandem DiaCeph Test – Single ICP Tap study I published in 2003, where my DiaCeph Test monitoring I undertook accurately corroborated ICP readings done by my neurosurgeon.

Dolle Communications Tandem ICP Tap – DiaCeph Test Study

Shunt Illustration for Hydrocephalus
Shunt Illustration for Hydrocephalus

Below is information on my current efforts to make the DiaCeph Test into a mobile data app:

Hydrocephalus Monitoring Test Hopes to be New mHealth App

Below, is airport, TSA assistance, and scanner information on traveling with CNS shunts and cognitive disabilities.

Tips on TSA Airline & Airport Information for Travelors with CNS Shunts

TSA Cares Logo
TSA Cares Logo

Below, are some newer efforts I have undertaken on behalf of accessibility for persons with cognitive disabilities:

Cognitive Accessibility in Hydrocephalus

Cognitive Accessibility accommodations er CognitiveAccessibility.org
Cognitive Accessibility accommodations er CognitiveAccessibility.org

And below, is the home page of my Dolle Communications web site listing my various web pages under the cognitive neurosciences.

Dolle Communications – Cognitive Neuroscience Home Page

Hydrocephalus monitoring, drum circles, and neuroscience solutions by Dolle Communications
Hydrocephalus monitoring, drum circles, and neuroscience solutions by Dolle Communications

Please contact me accordingly. Best method of contact is email. Please contact me per the information below.

Stephen Dolle
Neuroscientist, mHealth Inventor & Drum Circle Facilitator
Email: contact[at]dollecommunications[dot]com
Hydrocephalus Survivor w/ 12 Shunt Revisions
DolleCommunications.com

Help Me Kick Off Brain Awareness Week 2013

Brain Awareness Week 2013!
Brain Awareness Week 2013!

Today, kicks off Brain Awareness Week 2013. I selected this image as my favorite for this year’s campaign. I feel the image demonstrates the electrical & energy dialogue both inside our brain, and with the world and environment around us. We are connected, “on-line,” whether we like it or not, even when we’re sleeping and dreaming. So I ask this 2013, what are YOU doing for your brain and the collective consciousness this year? Our BRAIN is the most valuable asset we have. But in 2013, we still invest more dollars in guns & bombs and ways to kill people, than care/defense for our brains. Help me make “peak brain performance” a national priority in 2013.

In 1992, I suffered a brain injury that led to the condition, hydrocephalus, which has required 12 CNS shunt brain surgeries in the 20 years since my accident. During that time, I undertook research in hydrocephalus, neurological devices, assistive technology, music therapy, sensory processing disorders, and today drumming and the brain. In 1997, I designed and patented a AI type of monitoring system for hydrocephalus, that could be produced as a mobile phone app today. Help me make this app possible!

The last several years have been particularly troubling for me with unresolved hydrocephalus and numerous CNS shunt malfunctions & related brain surgeries. And when I’m out around my city and region, as well as watch national & world news on television, I am troubled with the lack of attentiveness to those with injury and impairment of the brain, and the level of commitment of financial resources towards research and ultimately, new treatments in this area. Brain injury and related disorders will effect each of us in our lifetime, either directly, or through an affected family member. The time is NOW to meet this CALL TO ACTION and get the better of brain injury & disorders, instead of the reverse. YOU can help your OWN cause by taking an interest in brain awareness and related research spending.

We are in desperate need of implantable diagnostics in today’s CNS shunt devices. We are in need of a “flow sensor” that would provide continuous readings on CSF flow thru the shunt, and could then be incorporated with patient day to day and clinical data to ultimately know how & whether the shunt is working 24/7. It would provide more timely medical intervention in instances of shunt malfunction, a very common occurrence, dramatically raise quality of life, improve patient outcomes, and pave the way for newer and better shunt devices. Wall Street and medical manufacturers should not have to choose between investing in shunt devices that they make money on today, versus a new implantable sensor that they’d make money on tomorrow!

Help me make brain awareness and scientific investment in brain treatments & technologies a priority in 2013 and beyond, and especially for the disorder hydrocephalus.

Stephen Dolle DolleCommunication.com

Newport Beach, CA