Migraining Women Likely To Develop Dementia: Study

Dementia Risk For Migraineurs

 

Migraineurs With Aura Are 48% More Likely To Develop Dementia In Later Life (1)

As if the sustained pounding, debilitating pain, the flurry of traumatic symptoms and ineffective medicines were not enough for migraineurs, studies are now showing that persons who suffer migraines with visual and other aura are 48% more likely to develop dementia as they begin to age than their healthier counterparts! (2)

In part this could be explained by the presence of white matter lesions that the brains of migraineurs are often seemed to have when scanned using an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging).

We know that white matter of the brain consists of nerve fibres (axons) and are surrounded by fat called myelin (3). The main function of the white matter is to transmit signals from one region of the cerebrum to another and between the cerebrum and lower brain centres. Lesions in the white matter interfere with signal transmissions. Damage to this white matter is a common significant factor observed in all those suffering from dementia.

Earlier control tests and those conducted at the Changhua Christian Hospital, Taiwan has already shown that migraineurs are at an exponential risk of diabetes and of developing hypertension, depression and cardiovascular diseases.

However, other studies have shown that the mental status of women with a history of migraine was no different from other women’s, so more research is needed.

SOURCES

  1. Image Credits: Dementia Disease And A Loss Of Brain Function And Memories As Al by David Castillo Dominici: FreeDigitalPhotos.net; Web November 2013; http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/dementia-disease-and-a-loss-of-brain-function-and-memories-as-al-photo-p173821
  2. Migraine may be linked to dementia; IOL Lifestyle; Web November 2013; http://www.iol.co.za/lifestyle/migraine-may-be-linked-to-dementia-1.1608597#.UoowF9JmiSo
  3. White matter of the brain; MedlinePlus; Web November 2013; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002344.htm

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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

12.4

Women Without Migraines

5.7

Men With Migraines

8.4

Men Without Migraines

3.4

 

 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

17.6

Women Without Migraines

9.1

Men With Migraines

15.6

Men Without Migraines

7.9

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)

SOURCES

  1. Image Credits: Depressed Woman Sitting On Floor ” by David Castillo Dominici; FreeDigitialPhotos.net; Web October 2013; http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/agree-terms.php?id=10099322
  2. Migraine sufferers more likely to have depression; Medical News Today; Web October 2013; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/267610.php
  3. Depression Twice as Likely in Migraine Sufferers; Science Daily News; Web October 2013; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131017114231.htm

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Sleep Quality Influences Migraine Frequency And Disability

Sleeping Woman - Migraine Blog

 

Sleep Quality Directly Effects How Often You Get Migraines (1)

Tests conducted by researchers at the University of Mississippi, U.S.A have shown a strong correlation between poor quality of sleep and the frequency of migraine episodes as well as the disabilities that go with the condition.

The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) was employed in the study which tested 78 migraineurs and 208 non-migraineurs who formed the control group.

The PSQI is a tool in the form of a scoring but subjective questionnaire developed by the Sleep Medicine Institute of the University of Pittsburgh. It has questions within it’s 7 broad components on which a patient is scored, viz;

  • Subjective Sleep Quality,
  • Sleep Latency,
  • Sleep Duration,
  • Habitual Sleep Efficiency,
  • Sleep Disturbance,
  • Use of Sleep Medicines,
  • Daytime Dysfunction.

Todd Smitherman and his team found that sleep quality was significantly worse for those experiencing episodic migraines than for those in the control group. The migraining group scored an average PSQI of 8.90 as compared to 6.63 in the control group. A PSQI score more than 5 is considered significantly bad.

Factors such as depression, anxiety were adjusted for the regression analysis calculations but still it accounted for 5.3% and 5.8% of unique variance in headache frequency and disability, respectively, which the researchers say is a modest but non-trivial amount. Even when depression and anxiety factors after poor sleep quality were included in the calculations the affective symptoms did not significantly improve these analysis models beyond that of sleep quality alone which made sleep quality almost an independent and very relevant factor in assessing headache frequencies and related disabilities.

As per Smitherman, “As such, sleep quality should be assessed preferentially to other sleep disturbance variables when subjective self-report measures of insomnia are used. In light of the present findings, conclusions from systematic reviews, and practice guidelines, the most potent means of improving sleep quality and insomnia among migraineurs is likely a treatment package that incorporates stimulus control and/or sleep restriction in addition to basic sleep hygiene education and management of comorbid psychiatric symptoms.” (2)

SOURCES:

  1. Image Credits: Freedigitalphotos.net; Tired Woman by Graur Codrin; Web August 2013; http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/agree-terms.php?id=10021635
  2. Sleep Quality A Key Contributor To Migraine Severity; MedWireNews.com (Springer Healthcare Limited); Web August 2013; http://www.medwirenews.com/44/104664/General_neurology/Sleep_quality_a_key_contributor_to_migraine_severity_.html
  •  Abstract of the research may be had at:

Sleep Disturbance and Affective Comorbidity Among Episodic Migraineurs; Wiley Online Library; Web August 2013; http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/head.12168/abstract

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Brain Volume In Older Groups With Migraine & Depression

Image

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.”

SOURCES:

  1. Image by ddpavumba; FreeDigitalPhotos.net; Web May 2013; http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Human_body_g281-Human_Brain_p110570.html
  2. 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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Co-morbidity of Migraine and Depression In Women

Most of us are aware that migraineurs have some comorbid conditions like generalised anxiety disorder, cardiovascular conditions and gastrointestinal disturbances. Research now has it that migraineurs especially women who have either experienced repeated episodes of migraines in the past or continue to have migraines are more likely to experience depression.

Women Migraineurs Very Likely To Develop Depression (1)

In fact another report goes on to suggest that the most ‘important’ comorbidity of migraines is depression with as many as 40% of all migraineurs also suffer from forms of depression. (2)

New research released on 23rd of February which was presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 64th Annual Meeting showed that migraining women specifically had a higher risk of almost double for developing depression than those women who did not experience migraines.

This study had examined the medical history of 36,154 women participants. The whole population studied were classified into 4 groups:

  • Women with migraines and experiencing aura
  • Women with migraines who do not experience aura
  • Women who had suffered migraines in the past but have not in the last one year
  • Women who never had migraines

It was observed after collection and analysis of data that as many as 18% of the studied population had either current or past history of migraines and that of this group of 6, 456 women almost half of them developed depression 14 years on.

Another observation of note was that the results in terms of the probability of developing depression for women migraineurs remains almost same regardless of the type of migraines they experience (i.e. with or without visual aura)

The results did not vary substantially, regardless of the type of migraine. Those with aura, which is described as visual disturbances that appear as flashing lights, zigzag lines or a temporary loss of vision, had the same risks as other types of migraine.

According to Tobias Kurth, MD, ScD, with Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and Inserm in France and a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, “This is one of the first large studies to examine the association between migraine and the development of depression over time. We hope our findings will encourage doctors to speak to their migraine patients about the risk of depression and potential ways to prevent depression.” (3)

This is a cue to doctors and headache specialists who treat migraineurs for assessing the patient for possible symptoms of depression and chalking out an appropriate management program for them.

SOURCES:

  1. Image by David Castillo Dominici; Freedigitalphotos.net; February 2012; http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=3062
  2. Comorbidities of Migraine – Page 4; Lisa K Mannix, MD; February 2012; http://www.headaches.org/pdf/CME_Mono02.pdf
  3. Migraine Increases Risk Of Depression In Women; Medical News Today; February 2012; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/242091.php

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MENTOR YOUR MIND, Tested Mantras For The Busy Woman

My second book, Mentor Your Mind (Paperback and Kindle, ebook) is now available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Tesco, WHSmith, Waterstones, Blackwell and Powells.

Mentor Your Mind focuses on the cause–effect relation of mental health, through a mix of what is easily fathomable and achievable by the busy urban woman, without having to set  precious time aside marked for keeping mentally, emotionally and spiritually healthy. These include:

  •  Everyday practice tips and activities
  • Daily activities built into urban living schedules
  • Techniques to easy meditation, and
  • Guidelines on practical community service

Mentor Your Mind addresses 6 mental maladies, 6 emotional afflictions and 7 spiritual self-service techniques that urban women are commonly confronted with, through:

  • 3 self-evaluation questionnaires
  • 13 easy-to-follow step-wise action flowcharts and diagrams
  • 20 mentoring schedules, and
  • 16 explanatory tables

Mentor Your Mind also sells in India through Crossword bookstores, Landmark bookstores, Oxford bookstores, Reliance retail stores and through Flipkart and Infibeam.

Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/73b8ly5

Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/832n8mu

Flipkart: http://tinyurl.com/7rx78hm

Infibeam: http://tinyurl.com/7mp2h3c

Product Information:

Category: health;Body, Mind, Spirit
Paperback: 174 pages
Publisher: Sterling Publishers (July 14, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 8120759737
ISBN-13: 978-8120759732
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces

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