10/25/2008

POSTHERPETIC NEURALGIA

I've had a headache (neuralgia) since the middle of August. This is what I was finally disgnosed with. My mom and I both suffer from the same ailment. She's had it for approximately 10 years. Our local nurse practitioner put me on Gabapentin, what a blessing, it's been the only thing that has given me some relief. Mom on the other had has had no relief whatsoever.

I took this info from Wikipedia...

Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) is a neuralgia caused by the varicella zoster virus. Typically, the neuralgia is confined to a dermatomic area of the skin and follows an outbreak of herpes zoster (HZ, commonly known as shingles) in that same dermatomic area. The neuralgia typically begins when the HZ vesicles have crusted over and begun to heal, but it can begin in the absence of HZ, in which case zoster sine herpete is presumed (see Herpes zoster).

Treatment options for PHN include antidepressants, anticonvulsants (such as gabapentin or pregabalin) and topical agents such as lidocaine patches or capsaicin lotion. Opioid analgesics may also be appropriate in many situations. There are some sporadically successful experimental treatments, such as rhizotomy (severing or damaging the affected nerve to relieve pain), and TENS (a type of electrical pulse therapy).

Postherpetic neuralgia is thought to be nerve damage caused by herpes zoster. The damage causes nerves in the affected dermatomic area of the skin to send abnormal electrical signals to the brain. These signals may convey excruciating pain, and may persist or recur for months or even years.

In the United States each year approximately 1,000,000 individuals develop herpes zoster. Of those individuals approximately 20%, or 200,000 individuals, develop postherpetic neuralgia.
Less than 10 percent of people younger than 60 develop postherpetic neuralgia after a bout of HZ, while about 40 percent of people older than 60 do.

It may influence susceptibility to herpes zoster. African Americans are one fourth as likely as Caucasians to develop this condition.

1 comment:

runningonink said...

Sorry to hear that you headaches! I am on the same meds for your Rest Leg Syndrome! Helps me get a couple of hours of sleep! Hope your headaches get better!

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