Publications by authors named "Maria Teresa Goicochea"

11 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

High rates of (treated) hypothyroidism among chronic migraine patients consulting a specialized headache clinic: are we missing something?

Neurol Sci 2021 Jul 20. Epub 2021 Jul 20.

Headache Department, Neuroscience Unit, Conci-Carpinella Institute, Santa Rosa 994, Córdoba, Argentina.

Background: Roughly three percent of episodic migraine patients evolve into the most burdensome chronic form of this condition every year. While some of the determinants behind this transformation are well established, others are still ill defined. Hypothyroidism is a prevalent endocrinological disorder that can both produce a secondary headache or aggravate a pre-existing primary headache disorder such as migraine.

Objective: We aimed to re-assess the association between hypothyroidism and chronic migraine controlling for factors such as hormone replacement treatment status and bodyweight.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the medical records of episodic and chronic migraine patients who consecutively consulted our headache clinic in order to determine the prevalence of adequately treated hypothyroidism in each group. Only patients receiving a stable dose regimen were included. The body mass index and other possibly confounding covariates were also collected.

Results: Data from 111 migraine patients was included for analysis. Most (88.6%) of chronic migraine sufferers were overusing acute medication. Treated hypothyroidism was significantly more prevalent in chronic migraine patients (29.55%) compared to episodic migraine patients (8.96%). This association was independent of the patients' body mass index or other variables.

Conclusion: Alterations of neuronal metabolism, deficient calcitonin release, or focal inflammation causing local hormonal deactivation might explain why hypothyroidism, in spite of levothyroxine replacement therapy, is associated with migraine chronification. Further studies evaluating these factors are warranted.
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July 2021

[Migraine preventive treatment: monoclonal antibodies against calcitonine gene related peptide].

Medicina (B Aires) 2021 ;81(3):427-431

Sección Cefaleas, FLENI, Buenos Aires, Argentina. E-mail:

Migraine is a very prevalent disorder that is estimated to affect about 10-15% of adult subjects. According to the World Health Organization migraine is one of the first causes of disability. Traditional preventive treatments discovered by serendipity include Beta blockers, antinconvulsants drugs, calcium channel blockers, tricyclic antidepressants and onabotulinum A and offer about 50% efficacy after controlled placebo trials and real life use. Because of lack of adherence and adverse events, there is a loss of beneficial sustain on these treatments. Recently, the efficacy and safety of monoclonal antibodies (MA) that act on the peptide pathway related to the calcitonin gene (CGRP) has been evaluated in migraine, being the first specific tailored treatment on one of the multiple targets on migraine. This family of drugs: erenumab, galcanezumab, fremanezumab, eptinezumab, finished Fase III, extensions trials and many of them are in the market approved since 2018.Since 2019 are available in Argentina. We will describe the rationale for the prescription of this family of new drugs for migraine.
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June 2021

Postcraniectomy pain: comparison between 2 incisions for the retrosigmoid approach. Prospective randomized study.

Neurocirugia (Astur : Engl Ed) 2020 Nov - Dec;31(6):261-267. Epub 2020 Mar 26.

Departamento de Neurocirugía, FLENI, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Background: Suboccipital lateral approach is a common practice in neurosurgery to expose the region of the cerebellopontine angle. Postcraniectomy headache (PCH) is one of the most frequent complications that diminish the quality of life of patients.

Objective: To compare postcraniectomy pain in patients operated on for vestibular neurinomas by a suboccipital lateral approach by 2 different incisions.

Material And Methods: Prospective randomized research study. Follow-up of patients operated for vestibular neurinomas between July 2017 and May 2019 (n=40) by the same surgeon. One group received the classical linear incision (n=20) and another group the alternative incision in an inverted "U" (modified Dandy) (n=20). Pain intensity was evaluated by numerical scale. A minimum follow-up of 3 months was carried out. The impact on quality of life was measured by the SF-36 questionnaire short version both before and after surgery.

Results: The average age was 46.1 years. The overall PCH index was 27.5% (n=11) of the patients. The incidence of pain in the group that received the classical incision (A) was 20% (n=4) and in group B was 35% (n=7).

Conclusions: We found a higher rate of post-craniectomy headache in patients who underwent a "modified Dandy" incision. These are preliminary data of an undergoing study and we hope to obtain more representative information in the future. We recommend interdisciplinary follow up for the integral treatment of PCH.
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April 2021

Clinical Subtypes of Medication Overuse Headache - Findings From a Large Cohort.

Headache 2019 10 3;59(9):1481-1491. Epub 2019 Oct 3.

Headache Science Center, IRCCS Mondino Foundation, Pavia, Italy.

Background: The International Classification of Headache Disorders lists different subtypes of medication overuse headache (MOH), according to the medication overused. The aim of this study is to evaluate whether the different subtypes correspond to clinically distinguishable phenotypes in a large population.

Method: This descriptive cross-sectional observational study included 660 patients with MOH referred to headache centers in Europe and Latin America as a part of the COMOESTAS project. Information about clinical features was collected with structured patient interviews and with self-administered questionnaires for measuring disability, anxiety, and depression.

Results: Female/male ratio, body mass index, marital status, and level of education were similar among in subjects enrolled in the 5 centers. The mean age was higher among subjects overusing triptans (T-MOH) with respect to subjects overusing simple analgesic (A-MOH). Duration of headache before chronification was longer in T-MOH (19.2 ± 11.9 years) and in subjects overusing ergotamines (E-MOH, 17.8 ± 11.7 years) with respect to the A-MOH group (13.1 ± 10.9; P < .001 and P = .017, respectively) and in T-MOH with respect multiple drug classes (M-MOH, 14.9 ± 11.7; P = .030). Migraine Disability Assessment (MIDAS) score was significantly lower in E-MOH group (33.6 ± 41.6), while T-MOH group (56.8 ± 40.6) had a significant lower MIDAS score with respect to M-MOH (67.2 ± 62.5; P = .016 and P = .037, respectively). Prevalence of depression and anxiety was lower in patients overusing T with respect to other groups of patients (χ  = 10.953, P = .027 and χ  = 25.725, P < .001, respectively).

Conclusion: In this study on a large and very well characterized population of MOH, we describe the distinctive clinical characteristics of MOH subtypes. These findings contribute to more clearly define the clinical picture of a poorly delineated headache disorder. They also provide some insights in the possible trajectories leading to this highly disabling chronic headache, that is classified as a secondary form, but whose occurrence is entirely dependent on an underlying primary headache.
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October 2019

Economic benefits of treating medication-overuse headache - results from the multicenter COMOESTAS project.

Cephalalgia 2019 02 8;39(2):274-285. Epub 2018 Jul 8.

7 Headache Science Centre, C. Mondino National Neurological Institute, Pavia, Italy.

Background: Medication-overuse headache is a costly disease for individuals and society.

Objective: To estimate the impact of medication-overuse headache treatment on direct and indirect headache-related health care costs.

Methods: This prospective longitudinal study was part of the COMOESTAS project (COntinuous MOnitoring of Medication Overuse Headache in Europe and Latin America: development and STAndardization of an Alert and decision support System). Patients with medication-overuse headache were included from four European and two Latin American headache centers. Costs of acute medication, costs of health care services, and measurements of productivity were calculated at baseline and at 6-month follow-up Treatment consisted of overused drug withdrawal with optional preventive medication.

Results: A total of 475 patients (71%) completed treatment and were followed up for 6 months. Direct health care costs were on average reduced significantly by 52% ( p < 0.001) for the total study population. Significant reductions were seen in both number of consumed tablets (-71%, p < 0.001) and number of visits to physicians (-43%, p < 0.001). Fifty percent of patients reduced their number of consumed tablets ≥ 80%. Headache-related productivity loss, calculated either as absence from work or ≥ 50% reduction of productivity during the workday, were reduced by 21% and 34%, respectively ( p < 0.001).

Conclusion: Standardized treatment of medication-overuse headache in six countries significantly reduced direct health care costs and increased productivity. This emphasizes the importance of increasing awareness of the value of treating medication-overuse headache.

Trial Registration: The trial was registered at (no. NCT02435056).
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February 2019

Psychological, clinical, and therapeutic predictors of the outcome of detoxification in a large clinical population of medication-overuse headache: A six-month follow-up of the COMOESTAS Project.

Cephalalgia 2019 01 27;39(1):135-147. Epub 2018 Jun 27.

1 Headache Science Centre, IRCCS Mondino Foundation, Pavia, Italy.

Aim: To identify factors that may be predictors of the outcome of a detoxification treatment in medication-overuse headache.

Methods: Consecutive patients entering a detoxification program in six centres in Europe and Latin America were evaluated and followed up for 6 months. We evaluated anxious and depressive symptomatology (though patients with severe psychiatric comorbidity were excluded), quality of life, headache-related disability, headache characteristics, and prophylaxis upon discharge.

Results: Of the 492 patients who completed the six-month follow up, 407 ceased overuse following the detoxification (non overusers), another 23 ceased overuse following detoxification but relapsed during the follow-up. In the 407 non-overusers, headache acquired an episodic pattern in 287 subjects (responders). At the multivariate analyses, lower depression scores (odds ratio = 0.891; p = 0.001) predicted ceasing overuse. The primary headache diagnosis - migraine with respect to tension-type headache (odds ratio = 0.224; p = 0.001) or migraine plus tension-type headache (odds ratio = 0.467; p = 0.002) - and the preventive treatment with flunarizine (compared to no such treatment) (odds ratio = 0.891; p = 0.001) predicted being a responder. A longer duration of chronic headache (odds ratio = 1.053; p = 0.032) predicted relapse into overuse. Quality of life and disability were not associated with any of the outcomes.

Conclusions: Though exploratory in nature, these findings point to specific factors that are associated with a positive outcome of medication-overuse headache management, while identifying others that may be associated with a negative outcome. Evaluation of the presence/absence of these factors may help to optimize the management of this challenging groups of chronic headache sufferers.
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January 2019

Changes in anxiety and depression symptoms associated to the outcome of MOH: A post-hoc analysis of the Comoestas Project.

Cephalalgia 2018 04 11;38(4):646-654. Epub 2017 Apr 11.

1 Headache Science Centre, C. Mondino National Neurological Institute, Pavia, Italy.

Aims To evaluate the impact of treatment success on depression and anxiety symptoms in medication-overuse headache (MOH) and whether depression and anxiety can be predictors of treatment outcome. Methods All consecutive patients entering the detoxification program were analysed in a prospective, non-randomised fashion over a six-month period. Depression and anxiety were assessed using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Results A total of 663 MOH patients were evaluated, and 492 completed the entire protocol. Of these, 287 ceased overuse and reverted to an episodic pattern (responders) and 23 relapsed into overuse. At the final evaluation, the number of patients with depressive symptoms was reduced by 63.2% among responders ( p < 0.001) and did not change in relapsers ( p = 0.13). Anxious symptomatology was reduced by 43.1% in responders ( ps < 0.001) and did not change in relapsers ( p = 0.69). At the multivariate analysis, intake of a prophylactic drug and absence of symptoms of depression at six months emerged as prognostic factors for being a responder (OR 2.406; p = 0.002 and OR 1.989; p = 0.019 respectively), while lack of antidepressant drugs and presence of symptoms of depression at six months were prognostic factors for relapse into overuse (OR 3.745; p = 0.004 and OR 3.439; p = 0.031 respectively). Conclusions Symptomatology referred to affective state and anxiety can be significantly reduced by the treatment of MOH. Baseline levels of depression and anxiety do not generally predict the outcome at six months. Their persistence may represent a trait of patients with a negative outcome, rather than the consequence of a treatment failure.
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April 2018

Medication overuse headache in Europe and Latin America: general demographic and clinical characteristics, referral pathways and national distribution of painkillers in a descriptive, multinational, multicenter study.

J Headache Pain 2015 8;17:20. Epub 2016 Mar 8.

Danish Headache Center, Neurological Department, Glostrup Hospital, Glostrup, Denmark.

Background: Medication overuse headache (MOH) is a very disabling and costly disorder due to indirect costs, medication and healthcare utilization. The aim of the study was to describe general demographic and clinical characteristics of MOH, along with the national referral pathways and national painkillers distribution in several European and Latin American (LA) Countries.

Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional observational study included 669 patients with MOH referred to headache-centers in Europe and LA as a part of the COMOESTAS project. Information about acute medication and healthcare utilization were collected by extensive questionnaires, supplemented with structured patient interviews.

Results: Triptans were overused by 31 % European patients and by 6 % in LA (p < 0.001), whereas ergotamines were overused by 4 % in Europe and 72 % in LA (p < 0.001). Simple analgesics were overused by 54 % in Europe and by 33 % in LA (p < 0.001), while combination-analgesics were more equally overused (24 % in Europe and 29 % in LA). More European patients (57 %) compared with LA patients (27 %) visited general practitioners (p < 0.001), and 83 % of European patients compared to 38 % in LA consulted headache specialists (p < 0.001). A total of 20 % in Europe and 30 % in LA visited emergency rooms (p = 0.007).

Conclusion: There are marked variations between LA and Europe in healthcare pathways and in acute medication overuse regarding patients with MOH. This should be considered when planning prevention campaigns against MOH.
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September 2016

Clinical and Demographical Characteristics of Patients with Medication Overuse Headache in Argentina and Chile: Analysis of the Latin American Section of COMOESTAS Project.

J Headache Pain 2015 18;16:83. Epub 2015 Sep 18.

Headache Science Centre, C. Mondino National Neurological Institute, Pavia, Italy.

Background: Data on the characteristics of Medication Overuse Headache (MOH) in Latin American (LA) are scarce. Here we report the demographic and clinical features of the MOH patients from Argentina and Chile enrolled in the multinational COMOESTAS project in the period 2008-2010.

Methods: The LA population was formed by 240 MOH subjects, 110 from Chile and 130 from Argentina, consecutively attending the local headache centres. In each centre, specifically trained neurologist interviewed and confirmed the diagnosis according to the ICHD-II criteria. A detailed history was collected on an electronic patient record form.

Results: The mean patient age was 38.6 years, with a female/male ratio of 8:2. The mean time since onset of the primary headache was 21 years, whereas duration of MOH was 3.9 years. The primary headache was migraine without aura in 77.5 % and migraine with aura in 18.8 %. Forty two % of the patients self-reported emotional stress associated with the chronification of headache; 43.8 % reported insomnia. The most overused medications were acute drug combinations containing ergotamine (70 %), NSAIDs (33.8 %) and triptans (5.4 %).

Conclusion: Though little described, MOH is present also in LA, where it affects mostly women, in the most active decades of life. Some differences emerge as regards the demographic and clinical characteristics of MOH in this population as compared to Europe or Northern America. What seems more worrying about MOH in Argentina and Chile is that most patients overuse ergotamine, a drug that may cause serious adverse events when used chronically. These findings once more underscore the importance of properly diagnose and treat MOH.
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May 2016

Lipomatosis of the trigeminal nerve causing trigeminal neuralgia: case report and literature review.

Skull Base 2010 Jul;20(4):293-9

Department of Neurosurgery, The Royal London Hospital, Barts and the London NHS Trust, London, United Kingdom.

Unlabelled: Cerebellopontine angle lipomas are rare and attempts at surgical excision are associated with significant morbidity. Lipomatosis of nerve, the fatty infiltration of nerves, is a distinct entity. We present a case of intractible trigeminal neuralgia caused by lipomatosis of the trigeminal nerve.

Clinical Case: A 25-year-old male presented with severe right-sided trigeminal neuralgia. Imaging showed a lesion involving the trigeminal nerve with signal characteristics of fat. At surgery the lesion was found to be a fatty infiltration of the nerve itself. Surgery was therefore limited to arachnoid adhesiolysis. The patient remains symptom-free and neurologically intact to date. Correctly identifying these lesions as lipomatosis of nerve rather than lipoma of the cerebellopontine angle make it clear that even partial surgical excision will inevitably result in neurological deficit and should not be attempted. However, in the case of intractable trigeminal neuralgia we demonstrate that surgery can still play a role.
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July 2010

Mitoxantrone as rescue therapy in worsening relapsing-remitting MS patients receiving IFN-beta.

J Neuroimmunol 2005 May;162(1-2):173-83

Department of Neurology Raúl Carrea Institute for Neurological Research, FLENI, Montañeses 2325, (1428) Buenos Aires, Argentina.

We assessed the action of mitoxantrone (MX) when given as rescue therapy in patients with relapsing-remitting (RR) multiple sclerosis (MS), whose disease activity worsens despite IFN-beta treatment. Ten very active RR MS patients received MX 12 mg/m2 monthly, for 3 months, and then returned to the original treatment with IFN-beta. Following treatment with MX, 70% of patients were able to return to IFN-beta treatment, stabilising EDSS and relapse rate during a follow-up period of 15-18 additional months. In contrast, in 30% of the patients who were taken off MX and returned to IFN-beta treatment the EDSS score deteriorated and the number of exacerbations increased significantly. The latter patients were switched again to MX treatment at 3-month intervals, stabilising EDSS and relapse rate during 15-18 additional months. Clinical findings correlated with the number of Gd-enhancing lesions disclosed in MRI scans. Immunological data were consistent with the clinical and MRI benefits observed. We conclude that brief courses of MX may provide a safe treatment alternative for RR MS patients who experience rapid and severe worsening of their disease despite IFN-beta treatment.
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May 2005