Magazine article Medical Economics

Diamond Headache Clinic

Magazine article Medical Economics

Diamond Headache Clinic

Article excerpt


Seymour Diamond, MD, established the Diamond Headache Clinic 35 years ago with one overriding philosophy. The headache patient needs a special doctor willing to understand how migraines can ruin a life.

The clinic has a faculty of six physicians, a research staff with 9 to 15 ongoing studies at all times, two psychologists and one psychiatrist, and a 37-bed, dedicated headache unit at Saint Joseph Hospital in Chicago.

The clinic conducts acute studies to determine whether certain agents successfully relieve migraines. More important, says Merle L. Diamond, MD, associate director of the Diamond Headache Clinic and daughter of the founder, the clinic is involved in ongoing prevention research, including the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention Study- the largest study of migraine sufferers ever conducted.

If migraines are diagnosed early and before headache frequency increases, they can be easily treated by primary care physicians, she says. "If patients can get effective therapy early, they can hopefully avoid becoming chronic migraineurs.

"Patients are incorrectly diagnosed half the time, and they eventually use a lot of inappropriate therapies," Diamond says. "If migraines can be diagnosed correctly, we would be able to do a much better job."

From a care perspective, clinic staff try to instill in patients the idea that they don't have to let migraine headaches control tiiem, and that, with effective therapy, they can live their lives according to their own schedule, Diamond says.

Whether inpatient or outpatient, patients eventually are given a therapy tailored to their own lives, including specific dierapeutic agents. …

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