New Beginnings, New Year


As 2015 draws to a close, I hope for the readers that this year was blessed with happy memories and useful learnings. As 2016 stands at our threshold, I wish for each one of us, a very very Happy New Year. Hoping we all dive into 2016 full of enthusiasm and positivity. #2016

Image credit: Happy New Year 2016 Card. Colorful Snow In Winter On Blue Sky Background By Tanya3597 on

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Migraineurs Twice More At Risk Of Depression & Suicidal Thoughts

Depression & Migraines

Young Migraineurs Twice Likely To Be Depressed Than Those Healthy (1)

A large-scale study conducted in Canada by researchers from University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work on 67,000 persons has now concluded that women under 30 years of age were six times more likely to have migraines co-morbid with depressive states than women older than 65 years of age. The paper which was published in the journal Depression Research and Treatment also stated that the prevalence of depression among those with migraine whether women or men are approximately twice as high as for those without the disease. The findings for depression rates in migraineurs and healthy persons were:

Gender Particular: Depression

Prevalence %

Women With Migraines


Women Without Migraines


Men With Migraines


Men Without Migraines



 The study analysed data which re-validated old truths about gender bias of the disease: that 1 in every 7 women had migraines compared to 1 in every 16 for men.

On similar lines were thoughts on suicide. Those under 30 years of age were four times more likely than those over 65, to consider suicide as a result of debilitating and repetitive migraine episodes. A glance at the findings for seriously contemplating suicide at least once between men and women both with and without migraines:

Gender Particular: Suicidal Thoughts

Prevalence %

Women With Migraines


Women Without Migraines


Men With Migraines


Men Without Migraines


According to Meghan Schrumm, “We are not sure why younger migraineurs have such a high likelihood of depression and suicidal ideation. It may be that younger people with migraines have not yet managed to find adequate treatment or develop coping mechanisms to minimize pain and the impact of this chronic illness on the rest of their lives. The much lower prevalence of depression and suicidal ideation among older migraineurs suggests a promising area for future research.” (2)

Co-author and researcher Dr. Fuller Thomson states that, “This study draws further attention to the need for routine screening and targeted interventions for depression and suicidality, particularly among the most vulnerable migraineurs: Individuals who are young, unmarried and those with activity limitations.” (3)


  1. Image Credits: Depressed Woman Sitting On Floor ” by David Castillo Dominici;; Web October 2013;
  2. Migraine sufferers more likely to have depression; Medical News Today; Web October 2013;
  3. Depression Twice as Likely in Migraine Sufferers; Science Daily News; Web October 2013;

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Migraines & Other Pains Express Themselves In Stressed Middle-Aged Women

Middle Age Migraine



Pain Symptoms Reveal Themselves Especially in Stressed Middle-Aged Women (1)

Turns out that stress is more than just a migraine trigger. If the recent study conducted by the University of Gothenburg, Sweden is to be believed then almost half the women who suffer from long-term stress will suffer from some pain symptoms, migraine being one of them. They may also suffer from frequent headaches and psychosomatic symptoms such as gastrointestinal disorders

The research done by the Sahlgrenska Academy pursued 1500 women from 1968. It noted that stress experienced by women was the highest between the years 40 and 60. It was also observed that the most stressed of these women were mainly those who smoked and/or those who were single.

The statistics revealed the following in the women who were stressed:

Category/Pain Type  Body Percentage
Psychosomatic symptoms Aches, Pains of muscles and joints


Neurological Migraines, (and headaches)


Gastrointestinal symptoms IBS, flatulence, bloating



 According to Dominique Hange from the Academy, “Even when the results have been adjusted for smoking, BMI and physical activity, we can see a clear link between perceived stress and an increased incidence of psychosomatic symptoms. Of course, since 1968, women’s lifestyles have changed in many ways. For example, many more women now work outside the home. Naturally, these changes can affect the experience of stress. But although we’ve used exactly the same question ever since 1968, we can’t take it for granted that the term ‘stress’ has exactly the same meaning today. It might also be more socially accepted today to acknowledge one’s experience of stress.” (2)

The more important conclusion of the study was that women who stay at home single and smoke were most vulnerable to stress and required the maximum need for preventative measures from both  primary healthcare and the society. This would go a long way to tackle stress-related illnesses among women starting when they are still young.



  1. Image Credits:; David Castillo Dominici; Web June 2013;
  2. Physical Symptoms Often Manifest In Stressed Middle-Aged Women; Medical News Today; Web June 2013;


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New Biomarker Predicts The Severity Of A Migraine Episode

Biomarkers Migraine

Adiponectin Levels In Blood Signal Pain Severity In Migraines During An Attack (1)

Adiponectin is a protein hormone that is secreted by fat or adipose tissues into our bloodstream. It is known to modulate many metabolic processes (such as glucose flux, insulin sensitivity, fatty acid oxidation, weight loss, regulation of energy metabolism etc) as well as immunity and inflammation attributes. Adiponectin is also known to modulate several of the pain pathways implicated in migraines.

A recent small-scale study on migraineurs who had anything between 2-12 episodes a month, was conducted by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has now revealed that measuring the levels of adiponectin or ADP before a migraine treatment can tell which patients found relief from the debilitating pain. The study examined 20 women for a three-year period (2009-2012)

According to the associate professor of neurology and director of headache research at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, B. Lee Peterlin, D.O, “This study takes the first steps in identifying a potential biomarker for migraine that predicts treatment response and, we hope, can one day be used as a target for developing new and better migraine therapies.” (2)

The process included a taking blood samples of women (to check ADP levels) before giving them either a sumatriptan/naproxen or a placebo dosage and then re-drawing blood from them at half an hour, an hour and after two hours of the drug/placebo administration.

Levels of both types of ADP, viz Low Molecular Weight (or LMW, having anti-inflammatory properties) and High Molecular Weight (or HMW, having pro-inflammatory properties) were assessed.

The researchers found that higher LMW counts caused a decrease in pain for the migraineurs and a higher ratio of HMW: LMW caused pain aggravation. It was also noticed that patients who received a steady treatment for the migraine irrespective of the fact that they were being dosed with a drug or a placebo showed an overall decrease in the total ADP over a period of time.

In Peterlin’s view, should ADP (LMW and HMW) be proved to be a biomarker for migraine pain with larger scale studies, it would be very helpful for physicians to know which migraineur would benefit from which type of treatment and help them try out alternative drugs sooner than later.

The study was supported by a grant from GlaxoSmithKline and from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.


  1. Image Credits: FreeDigitalPhotos.Net; Victor Habbick; Web June 2013;
  2. Blood Levels of Fat Cell Hormone May Predict Severity of Migraines; ScienceDaily News; Web June 2013;

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Brain Volume In Older Groups With Migraine & Depression


Brain Tissue Volume Shrinkage in Older Group With Migraine And Depression (1)

Current studies conducted at the National Institute on Aging and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, in Bethesda, Md show that older population who suffer from migraines and depression have smaller brain size in terms of brain volume compared to those in the same age group who have either one or neither of these conditions.

The study which was published in Neurology® examined 4296 persons around the approximate age of 51 years of age, over a 24 year period. This population was reassessed for another four years after a gap of 11 years by which time their average age was 74 years old.

On assessment it was found that for the migraineurs and the depressed there was an average 19.2 millilitres smaller in terms of total brain tissue volume when compared to those who had only one of these conditions or none of them.

As per the lead author of the study, Larus S. Gudmundsson, PhD, “It is important to note that participants in this study were imaged using MRI once, so we cannot say that migraine and depression resulted in brain atrophy. In future studies, we need to examine at what age participants develop both migraine and depression and measure their brain volume changes over time in order to determine what comes first.”


  1. Image by ddpavumba;; Web May 2013;
  2. Migraine and Depression Together May Be Linked With Brain Size; Science Daily News; Web May 2013;

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My new book, The Complete Fitness Guide For Women

The Complete Fitness Guide For Women Promo

Title: The Complete Fitness Guide for Women
Publisher: Hay House
Distributor: Penguin
Author: Singh Mamta
Edition: Paperback
ISBN: 9381431221
EAN: 9789381431221
No. of Pages: 236
Deliverable Countries: This product ships to India, Sri Lanka.


‘An elegant presentation of the fundamentals if fitness. It lays the foundation for the understanding of the basic principles and is a perfect stepping stone for those who want to raise their fitness quotient.’


The Complete Fitness Guide For Women is laced with:

  • more than 20 workout programs using a treadmill, stationary bike and a Step
  • 40 flexibility exercises via Pilates and Yoga
  • 19 weight-bearing exercises
  • Extensive notes on Injury prevention and management
  • Do’s in Fitness Nutrition, and
  • Best Practices in Fitness

The Complete Fitness Guide For Women is an essential fitness guide for any woman who wants an active life and a healthy body. Physical fitness, as it is understood today, is not merely about exercising or healthy eating; it must involve both aspects. But there is still more to a fit and healthy life than just a focus on food and exercise. The Complete Fitness Guide for Women lays the foundation for long-term health.

In this volume, I provide you with exercise plans that specifically target cardiovascular training, strength and weight training, and stretching. Whether you are a beginner or someone who is already working out, this book will have a program suitable for you; these exercise programs can be done at home or at the gym.

The Complete Fitness Guide for Women empowers you by helping you understand and respect your body and its unique requirements, so you can develop a body that is not just slim, but healthy and strong as well.

The Power Is Truly Within You!


The Complete Fitness Guide For Women is also available through:





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