NEW ORLEANS — The cause of migraines is still unclear, but what doctors do know is that one in four homes has someone who suffers greatly from migraine headaches.
Now, there is a medication specifically approved to prevent migraines.
Kacey Marse is an identical twin, but she has faced and survived health problems her sister never had to. There was a childhood brain tumor, a stroke, multiple surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation. Today she is independent and well.
"It's still gone. I just hit 19 years on October 27," Marse, 36, said happily.
But for the last 10 years, she faced a different, yet common, chronic condition: Migraines.
"It's debilitating to the point where you can't look at anything with light or sound," she said.
"Kind of like a pounding sensation. There is, there can be sensitivity to light, nausea, vomiting, I mean, it is debilitating," explained Dr. Lauren Sharett of Culicchia Neurological Clinic.
Months ago, her neurologist, Dr. Sharett, asked if she wanted to try a new kind of drug FDA approved last year. They go by three brand names, Aimovig, or Emgality or AJOVY. They are an at home injection pen used once a month or just four times a year. Kasey hasn't had a migraine since.
"It's awesome. I don't have that debilitating feeling where I can't function and do day-by-day work and just live," Marse said.
"Multiple patients who have literally said, 'I have never been able to live like this.' And people crying, 'Like this has changed my life,'" Dr. Sharett said, recounting patient feedback.
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Now Kasey is back to enjoying what she loves most, dancing anywhere or cheering on the New Orleans Saints.
And the doctor says the new injection avoids many of the side effects of medications used in the past to treat migraines.