Migraineurs at Double The Risk Of Developing Facial Paralysis (1)
As per a recent study conducted by a team of scientists working with Taipei Veterans General Hospital in Taiwan and National Yang-Ming University, migraineurs are at almost double the risk than non-migraineurs to develop facial paralysis also known as Bell’s Palsy.
The report of the study was published in the 13th January, 2015 issue of the medical journal Neurology of the American Association of Neurologists. Bell’s Palsy occurs due to the dysfunction of a specific cranial nerve that controls facial muscle movements. Some characteristics involve not being able to blink with the eye on the side the facial nerve is affected. Other signs include development of a facial droop on the affected side. Other things such as smiling, frowning, tear-formation, salivation, flaring nostrils and raising eyebrows may all be affected in Bell’s Palsy.
As per lead researcher and author of the study, Shuu-Jiun Wang, MD, “This is a very new association between migraine and Bell’s palsy. Our study also suggests that these two conditions may share a common underlying link.” (2)
It is assumed that anything between 11 to 40 people in every 100,000 people get Bell’s Palsy due to recurring migraines. In the study two groups of adult population were selected. The total persons under study were 136,704. One group had the migraineurs and the other had the non-migraineurs. The observations of the study continued for a period of 3 years. During that time, 671 people in the migraine group and 365 of the non-migraine group were newly diagnosed with Bell’s palsy. People with migraine were twice as likely to develop Bell’s palsy even after researchers accounted for other factors and medical conditions. (3)
According to Dr. Wang, “Infection, inflammation or heart and vascular problems could be shared causes for these diseases. If a common link is identified and confirmed, more research may lead to better treatments for both conditions.”
- Image Credit: Woman Face With Natural Look by Phasinphoto; freedigitalphotos.net; Web January 2015; http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/woman-face-with-natural-look-photo-p247674
- Migraine May Double Risk Of Facial Paralysis; ScienceDaily.com; Web December 2014; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/12/141217171315.htm
- Does Migraine Produce Facial Palsy? Neurology; Web January 2015; http://www.neurology.org/content/84/2/108.short
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Migraines & Headaches After Sex (HAS) More Common Than Reported (1)
‘Not tonight honey, I have a headache’ may not be an excuse in avoidance after all, because for some, especially men, migraines and headaches develop after sexual intercourse, making them avoid it. It is estimated that only as many as 1% of migraning adults actually report experiencing migraines or severe headaches after they have had sex. (2) The real percentage is considered much higher but generally goes under-reported since there is a feeling of discomfort talking about it on the part of the patients who suffer this type of a migraine and doctors who should be asking if the patients suffer this type of an ordeal.
According to Dr. Jose Biller who is the chair of Loyola’s Department of Neurology, and is certified in Headache Medicine by the United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties, “Many people who experience headaches during sexual activity are too embarrassed to tell their physicians, and doctors often don’t ask. Headaches associated with sexual activity can be extremely painful and scary. They also can be very frustrating, both to the individual suffering the headache and to the partner.” (3)
Though a fair percentage of headaches associated with sex (HAS) are considered benign and not life-threatening, others need running neurological diagnostics to look at and rule out dangerous causes such as brain aneurysm, stroke, cervical artery dissection or subdural hematoma etc. It is confirmed that HAS are 3-4 times more likely to occur in men than women.
Basically, the study has identified 3 types of HAS:
|Head and Neck
|Back of the head
||Intense Pain lasting hours
|Half Head, Any side
||Mild To Extreme Pain
The cause for the third type of HAS has been identified as internal leaking of spinal fluid extending from lower portions of the skull to lower spine. The pain worsens when a person stands as the brain sags down. Relief is felt when the person lies down.
The different types of HAS require different types of treatment and management. However, the best bet still is on exercising regularly, keeping weight under control, not consuming too much alcohol and reducing exposure to known migraine triggers.
- Image Credit: Couple Lying In Bed Back-to-Back Stock Photo; Image by Ambro; Free Digital Photos; Web June 2014; http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/CouplesPartners_g216-Couple_Lying_In_Bed_BacktoBack_p76440.html
- Headaches during sex likely more common than reported; Science Daily News; Web June 2014; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140610100303.htm
- Sex headaches: More common than you’d think; Loyola Medicine Publication; Web June 2014; http://loyolamedicine.org/newswire/news/sex-headaches-more-common-youd-think
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eNeura Therapeutics’ Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator (TMS) Now Available To Migraineurs With Aura (1)
US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has allowed the marketing and sale on prescription eNeura Therapeutics device for the treatment and management of migraines. It has proved to be beneficial in pain mitigation for those whose migraine episodes are preceded by aura. Prior to awarding of approval, the FDA studied both at pre-market data as well as results of clinical trials of the device on migraineurs with aura. (2)
The device is essentially a transcranial magnetic stimulator (TMS). The Cerena TMS is to be held against the back of the migraineur’s head and turned on by the push of a button. The device releases short pulses of magnetic waves to stimulate the occipital cortex of the migraineur’s brain which in turns either ceases pain or reduces the intensity of pain. The device does not relive any other symptom associated with migraines such as photo or sound sensitivity, nausea etc. (3)
Though classified as a low-moderate risk device, it is not to be used by those suffering from epilepsy and not more than once every 24 hours even by those who are prescribed the use of the TMS. The transcranial magnetic stimulator is not recommended for those patients who have any type of implants especially magnetic metals in the head, neck or upper body, pacemakers, deep brain stimulators etc.
Randomized controlled trials on some 201 patients showed that approximately 38% of those using the TMS device were free of any pain in two hours after administration compared to 17% of controls.
- Image Credit: The Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator by eNeura Therapeutics ; Electronicproducts.com; Web December 2013; http://www.electronicproducts.com/Passive_Components/Magnetics_Inductors_Transformers/FDA_approves_pulsating_magnetic_device_to_help_ease_headaches.aspx
- First device to treat migraine wins FDA approval; MedicalNewsToday.com; Web December 2013; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270233.php
- FDA approves pulsating magnetic device to help ease headaches; Hearst Electronic Prodcuts; Web December 2013; http://www.electronicproducts.com/Passive_Components/Magnetics_Inductors_Transformers/FDA_approves_pulsating_magnetic_device_to_help_ease_headaches.aspx
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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.”
- Image by ddpavumba; FreeDigitalPhotos.net; Web May 2013; http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Human_body_g281-Human_Brain_p110570.html
- Migraine and Depression Together May Be Linked With Brain Size; Science Daily News; Web May 2013; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130522163919.htm
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