Alexander Feoktistov, MD, PhD




Boy With Frequent, Severe Unilateral Headaches

May 02, 2008

A 14-year-old boy presents with frequent severe headaches characterized by sharp, throbbing pain behind his left eye and left temple.

Woman With Short-Lasting, Strictly Unilateral Headaches

October 01, 2007

A 47-year-old woman complains of severe headaches that involve only the right orbital, temporal, and occipital areas. She describes the pain as sharp and stabbing, and she rates its severity as 9 or 10 on a 10-point visual analog scale.

Two Women With Severe Headaches: Different Symptoms, Similar Approaches

May 01, 2007

The headaches vary in severity, but she usually has severeheadaches (8 on a 10-point visual analog scale[VAS]) once or twice a week; she describes the latter assevere throbbing or pounding pain on the top of thehead but also involving the occipital and frontalareas and occasionally one or the other temple.

Boy With Severe Weekly Headaches Associated With GI Upset

January 01, 2007

A 12-year-old boy complains of severe weekly headaches that last 2 to 3 hours. The pain involves both sides ofthe head and the frontal and occipital areas. Occasionally during a headache, the patient complains of some abdominaldiscomfort and pain. He becomes passive and irritable during the headache; he does not want to be aroundpeople, play, or even watch TV. The patient’s parents note that a few hours before a headache, he becomes somewhatrestless and agitated. The headaches started about 1 year earlier, and the headache pattern (frequency, duration,location of pain, and associated symptoms) has not changed since that time. The patient’s mother and maternalgrandmother suffer from migraine.

Unmasking the Cause of an "Alarm Clock" Headache

December 31, 2006

Primary care doctor: Because of the patient’s age and theabsence of a headache history, I first considered such secondarycauses as tumor and temporal arteritis. However,MRI of the brain and erythrocyte sedimentation rate werenormal. I now suspect a sleep-related headache becausethe attacks occur only at night and awaken the patientfrom a sound sleep. How can I determine which type ofsleep-related headache is involved?

Woman With Worsening Headaches and Neurologic Symptoms

October 01, 2006

A 37-year-old woman complains of frequent, severe headaches. She describes the pain as a pressure-like feeling that is usually located at the top of her head and occasionally spreads to one of her temples; she rates its intensity as 9 on a 10-point visual analog scale. The pain becomes throbbing when she tries to engage in any kind of physical activity.

Woman With Frequent Severe Headaches

September 01, 2006

The patient is a 47-year-old white woman with frequent, intensely painful unilateral or bilateral headaches that occur behind her left eye or temporal area. These headaches cause throbbing pain that lasts about 40 to 50 minutes: the patient rates the pain severity as a 7 or 8 on a 10-point visual analog scale.

Teenager With Chronic Daily Headache of Sudden Onset

June 01, 2006

A 15-year-old boy complains of moderate to severe headaches that occur daily and usually last all day; the pain typically worsens toward the end of the day. How will you help this patient?

Woman With Severe Headache and Neurologic Deficit

February 01, 2006

A neurologic deficit caused by a transient ischemic attack should last less than 24 hours. This woman presented with signs of paresis that had persisted for 36 hours, thus ruling out transient ischemic attack.

Man With Incapacitating Daily Headaches

April 02, 2004

A 39-year-old man complains of severe daily headaches that he describes as throbbing and "burning," with a sensationof pressure. He rates the severity of his pain as 8 to 10 on a 10-point visual analog scale (VAS) in which 10 isthe most severe. The mean duration of the headaches is 12 hours, and the mean frequency is 5 days per week. Betweenthe episodes of severe headache, he has constant "minor" headaches that are not as severe (mean severity, 3 to 5 on a10-point VAS). Within the past 5 months, he has never been totally free of headache.