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Posted by Ueli ( on January 02, 2002 at 21:34:34:

In Reply to: Just got the official diagnosis posted by Ed Pigate on January 02, 2002 at 20:11:44:

Way back in 1938 (when Ueli was 1 year old) it was already noted that oxygen is useful in aborting CH attacks. It always surprises me that only the old crap about CH (facial features and hazel eyes and heavy drinkers and only men getting CH) belongs to "knowledge" about CH for many doctors, this fact on oxygen is largely unknown.
Below is a review article from the archives of on the history of oxygen use. Print it out and show it to your doctor, it contains lots of big, impressive names. (Our AWOL lc bob quoted this review almost 3 years ago [], but the URL he gave is no longer valid.)

Historical Development Of Normobaric Oxygen In The Symptomatic Treatment Of Cluster Headache

DJ Capobianco Jacksonville, FL

Objective: - Review the historical development of normobaric oxygen in the acute treatment of cluster headache.

Background: - The use of normobaric oxygen in the treatment of headache can be traced back to Drs. Boothby, Alvarez, and Horton of the Mayo Clinic.

Method: - Review of published papers.

Results: - In 1938, under the direction of Walter M. Boothby, MD, oxygen therapy was employed in the symptomatic treatment of headache. Alvarez reported the beneficial response of 100% oxygen, delivered at a flow rate of between 6 to 8 liters per minute, as abortive treatment for headache [1].   Unfortunately, it is difficult to know if this included patients with cluster headache. Bayard T. Horton was the first to note that inhaling 100% oxygen alleviated a cluster attack, if taken during the initial headache phase [2].   Friedman and Mikropoulos [3] and later, Graham [4], also noted this beneficial response of oxygen inhalation for cluster headache.   In 1978, an optometrist, Jerold F. Janks, published his own personal account of oxygen's beneficial role in the treatment of cluster headache [5].   Kudrow elaborated further on Horton's finding. He noted that 75% of outpatients treated with 100% oxygen administered via face mask at 7 liters per minute, experienced complete or near complete relief within 15 minutes [6].   Anthony found that oxygen inhalation was beneficial in all 12 patients studied [7].   Fogan, in the only double-blind control study, demonstrated that oxygen inhalation provided complete or substantial relief in at least 80% of patients' cluster attacks [8].

Conclusion: - Bayard T. Horton deserves credit for discovering the beneficial role of oxygen inhalation in the symptomatic treatment of cluster headache. The elegant work of Drs. Kudrow, Anthony, and Fogan further corroborated Horton's initial findings.

[1] Alvarez WC, Mason AY. Results obtained in the treatment of headache with the inhalation of pure oxygen. Mayo Clin Proc. 1940;15:616-618.
[2] Horton BT. Histaminic cephalgia. Lancet. 1952;72:92-98.
[3] Friedman AP, Mikropoulos HE. Cluster headaches. Neurology. 1958;8:653-663.
[4] Graham JR. Cluster headache. In: Appenzeller O, ed. Pathogenesis and Treatment of Headaches. New York: Spectrum Publications; 1976:93-108.
[5] Janks JF. Oxygen for cluster headaches. JAMA. 1978;239:191.
[6] Kudrow L. Response of cluster headache attacks to oxygen inhalation. Headache. 1981;21:1-4.
[7] Anthony M. Treatment of attacks of cluster headache with oxygen inhalation. Clin Exp Neurol. 1981;18:195.
[8] Fogan L. Treatment of cluster headache. A double-blind comparison of oxygen vs air inhalation. Arch Neurol. 1985;42:362-363.

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