MMC blog header


June 21st, 2021

What is a migraine?

Migraine involves much more than just a headache. It’s a very common neurological condition – about 70% of patients have a first degree relative that also has migraines. Migraines are not typically related to any brain abnormalities and no markers are present on brain imaging. The mechanism of migraines is not completely understood; however, when migraines are triggered, CGRP and other neuropeptides are released. These neuropeptides cause vasodilation and neuro-inflammation in the brain. Possible Migraine triggers include: weather changes, certain foods, sleep changes, dehydration, stress and alcohol.

When should I see a specialist?

If migraines or headaches are affecting your quality of life – you’re missing school, you’re missing work, you’re missing family activities – or if you’re having more than two headaches a week and are having trouble getting rid of them, it’s probably time to come see a specialist.

Treatment Options:

When you come in, we’ll do a neurological exam and we’ll decide whether imaging is needed based on your symptoms and your exam. Acute treatment for patients with migraines could include prescription pills, nasal sprays, or injectables. Medications we use to treat migraines target neuropeptides, neuro-inflammation and some cause vasoconstriction of blood vessels. We also offer Botox injections for chronic migraines (15+ headaches/month with at least 8 of these days including migraine symptoms), where Botox is injected in 31 FDA approved sites every 12 weeks. Also, the newest option for migraine prevention for people with refractory headaches is an every-three-month infusion.

If you’re suffering with headaches or migraines, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment. Call MMC Neurology at 615-867-8090 or click here.

Dana Carter, APRN, FNP-C, MSCN, AQH

MMC Neurology

Hi, my name is Dana Carter. I’m a Nurse Practitioner at MMC Neurology. I am a headache specialist, which means I have special training and have earned an added certification in headache medicine from the National Headache Foundation. I love helping people feel better and improving their quality of life through treatment.

Posted by Murfreesboro Medical Clinic | Topic: News  | Category: Neurology

Murfreesboro Medical Clinic’s Neurology CNA, Libby Stark, Receives MSCertification

Libby Stark, a CNA in Murfreesboro Medical Clinic’sNeurology department, is now a Certified Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Specialist.After completing the examination covering the fundamentals of MS,multidisciplinary MS care and patient empowerment, Libby is proud to be one of MMC’sthree Certified MS specialists. Libby joins Joy Derwenskus, D.O., M.S., andJanet Brown, FNP-BC, MSCN.

Murfreesboro Medical Clinic’s (MMC) Neurology department isrecognized as a Partner in MS Care. This formal recognition honors thedepartment’s commitment to providing exceptional, coordinated MS care; andcontinuing partnership with the Society to address the challenges of peopleaffected by MS.

Libby joined MMC Neurology in February of 2017 and has sincebeen passionately serving the community’s MS population alongside Dr. JoyDerwenskus. She has been a great asset to the MMC staff, and this newcertification will continue to provide her with more tools and education toprovide multiple sclerosis patients with the highest quality of care.

MMC Neurologist, Dr. Joy Derwenskusshares, "Not only is Libby bright and thoughtful, but she also takes thetime to answer questions.  Almost everyday a patient will comment to me about Libby's exceptional care.  She seems to put patients with a chronicneurologic condition at ease.  Thiscertification only adds to the expertise available to patients living withmultiple sclerosis at MMC." 

The MMC Neurology Department is proud to be one of the twoMS Partners in Care Clinics in Middle Tennessee. For more information about howto connect with the Neurology department at MMC, please visit, orcall (615) 867-8090 today. Your health is our mission.

Murfreesboro Medical Clinic’s Neurology department was proudto host a free seminar titled, “Living with MS,” on Saturday, April 21st. Thisfirst-time event allowed patients and caregivers to learn from neurology,nutrition and physical therapy experts about how to live their best life with MultipleSclerosis (MS).  These experts included Joy Derwenskus, DO,MS from MMC Neurology, Bobbie Marie Gregg, RD, LDN from MMC Weight Loss andWellness Clinic and Emily Vance, PT, DPT, COMT from Results Physiotherapy.

Registered Dietitian, Bobbie Marie Gregg, spoke about theimportance nutrition plays in coping with a chronic illness. Many helpful tipswere shared, including how to prepare nutritious and healthy meals at home. Afew of these tips included: to drink plenty of water, replace salt withhealthier spices that are lower in sodium, and to choose healthy fats and highfiber foods.

When speaking about exercise, Emily Vance emphasized theimportance of tailoring your exercise routine to how you’re feeling in thatmoment. “Think about your abilities, and not what you’re not able to do that day,”Vance said. MS patients are encouraged to listen to their body and be aware ofwhat is helping and what is hurting.

Dr. Joy Derwenskus spoke on the effect that stress can haveon MS patients and caregivers. “A lot of people say when they were firstdiagnosed with MS, it was around the time of a stressful life event,”Derwenskus said. While many times we can’t control the stressful situationsaround us, we can control the way we react to it and let it affect ourperspective.  Along with several tips onmanaging stress, she also spoke on the importance of overall wellness in caringfor yourself – both as a caregiver and as a patient. Nutrition, exercise andstress management all work best when combined.

About MultipleSclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disablingdisease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of informationwithin the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms vary from person toperson and range from numbness and tingling, to walking difficulties, fatigue,dizziness, pain, depression, vision loss and paralysis. The progress, severityand specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, butadvances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding andmoving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosedbetween the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women thanmen being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 millionworldwide.

The MMC Neurology Department is proud to be one of the twoMS Partners in Care Clinics in Middle Tennessee. For more information about howto connect with the Neurology department at MMC, please visit, orcall (615) 867-8090 today. Your health is our mission.

Posted by Murfreesboro Medical Clinic  | Category: Neurology

Murfreesboro Medical Clinic | 615-893-4480 | see all locations
close this layer

Murfreesboro Medical Clinic will continue to require face masks, regardless of vaccination status, in all facilities for all patients and visitors ages 2 and above.

Click here to read our full statement

pixel image