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Migraines

I've had a migraine/headache for 6 days straig...

I’ve had a migraine/headache for 6 days straight. Today was so bad I couldn’t concentrate on what I was saying. I’m not even sure I knew WHAT I was saying because of the pain. I even mixed up two people’s names and felt really dumb afterwards. Anyone got a migraine cure? :) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s not what you think

It has been thought that migraines result from some vascular problem say shrinknig of blood vessels leading to the brain.  But now scientists believe it is not a vascular issue, but maybe a neurological one.  It is believed that if your headaches episodic, then it is a migraine and not a headache…Even if your head does ache.

When fMRIs are used to look at the brain during a migraine we can see that there are no structural problems, but there are functional problems.

While there are no biomarkers that can be pointed to, to identify a migraine some believe that a migraine may be an zexcessively sensitized brain.  Some people find a lot of yawning, mood shifting couple of days before a migraine hits. It has been found to affect women (up to 1 in 5)  more than men, and seems to get more frequent with age.

Related To

Comorbid with migraines is a risk 3x of depression/anxiety/bipolar and twice the risk of ischemic stroke and epilepsy.  Again this is a correlation and does not mean hat having depression means you have migraines. There is also a correlation to certain genes as well, at chromosome 8 between two genes – PGCP and MTDH/AEG-1.

Treatments

  • At the  Jefferson Headache Center of Philadelphia, Dr. William Young has a long waiting list, but his associates may be more available.
  • Botox  has also been used for chronic  migraines. It is not precisely known how it works but may be affecting the trigeminal nerve.
  • Triptans - drugs specifically designed for migraines, originally made for vascular headaches.  But luckily found to bind to nerve endings too.  Only 20% respond to this drug, but to those that do respond what a blessing
  • Dr. Landis- Not enough investigators, so NIH is doing professional development for migraine investigators.
    •  No dietary triggers studies currently
  • Wind Turbines and migraines (weather fronts, air pressure)
  • magnesium glycinate and B2 have been found good for migraines
  • some people are trying beta blockers
  • Verapamil has been found useful for cluster headaches and migraines, especially those migraines that mimic stroke with numbness, paralysis and speech difficulty.

The Future

In the past neurologist were given 2 hours of education in medical school. Now it has become a medical specialty. In addition NIH is explicitly providing professional development guidance to grow researchers in this field!  So more good things to come!

Related articles

January Headache and Migraine Blog Carnival – Submit Now (puttingourheadstogether.com)

Are Allergies Causing Your Migraines? (everydayhealth.com)

Many Non-Oral Medications Appear to Effectively Treat Acute Migraines in Emergency Department Patients (ahrq.gov)

NIH study finds a link between migraines and brain lesions (sfluxe.com)

Categories: Migraine
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