Larry King: Excerpt/Transcript

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Posted by drummer ( on August 19, 1999 at 07:31:38:

KING: Louisville, Kentucky, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry.


CALLER: My question is also for your doctors.

KING: Go ahead.

CALLER: I would like to know the difference between migraines and cluster headaches.

KING: Good question. Dr. Diamond.

DIAMOND: OK. First of all, cluster is a way -- is a way God repaid man for giving migraine to women. It is a -- it is a one-sided headache, like migraine, and it's called cluster because it occurs in groups, in a series, in a bunch. And a man will get maybe three, four, five, or maybe one or two of these headaches every day, usually around one eye. It is a tremendous pain.

They -- they usually tear from one eye, have a congestion in that side in the nose on that side, and it is a terrifying headache. I usually call it the "suicide headache" because...

KING: No kidding?

DIAMOND: The only suicides I've ever seen in headache patients have been in patients who have cluster or chronic cluster where it never goes away. Usually most clusters last for two or three months and they go away. But there are a certain unfortunate few who get what we call chronic cluster.

GRAFF-RADFORD: One of the important things to differentiate migraine from clusters, it's strictly unilateral. It's strictly a one-sided headache. It never switches sides like migraine does.

KING: Men get it more than women?

GRAFF-RADFORD: Men get it eight times more frequently than women get it. KING: Do we know why?

GRAFF-RADFORD: And it commonly wakes men out of their sleep, because there's a high incidence of sleep apnea or the inability -- the stopping of breathing in the night with patients who have cluster.

Oxygen deprivation is the major cause. And you can treat it by just breathing oxygen. It's very effective in controlling cluster, but not migraine.

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