Middle Age Migraineurs At Risk Of Parkinson’s Later


Studies Show Some Middle-Age Migraineurs Go On To Develop Parkinson’s At Old Age (1)

A recent study conducted at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, and published in the medical journal Neurology (of the American Academy of Neurology) , showed that there was a link between migraines and the development of Parkinson’s Disease.

Though severe migraine attacks are considered as disabling as serious illnesses such as dementia, active psychosis or even quadriplegia, it is still the most under-funded and less researched of all neurological diseases in the world.

As per lead author of the study, Ann I. Scher, M.D migraines are the most common brain disorder among both the sexes linked to both cerebrovascular and heart disease. However, the study exhibited that the link between middle-age migraining and Parkinson’s is stronger for women who suffer migraines with aura. She says, “This new possible association is one more reason research is needed to understand, prevent and treat the condition.” (2)

The research involved 5620 persons from Iceland for a period of 25 years. Their ages were between 33 and 65 years at the time when the study began. Of the 5620 persons studied, 1028 had headaches without migraine symptoms, 238 had migraines without aura and 430 experienced migraines with aura. Here are the result highlights:  (3)

  • Migraineurs with aura twice as likely to develop Parkinson’s later than Migraineurs without aura
  • 1% of the persons without headaches developed Parkinson’s later when compared to 2.4% who developed it and had migraines with aura.
  • People with migraine with aura were also around 3.6 times more likely to report at least four of the six symptoms of Parkinson’s, and people with migraine without aura were 2.3 times more likely.
  • Overall rates in absolute terms were as:
        • In people with migraine with aura: 19.7%
        • In people with migraine without aura: 12.6%
        • In people with no headaches at all: 7.5%.

According to Scher, “A dysfunction in the brain messenger dopamine is common to both Parkinson’s and Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), and has been hypothesized as a possible cause of migraine for many years. Symptoms of migraine such as excessive yawning, nausea and vomiting are thought to be related to dopamine receptor stimulation.  More research should focus on exploring this possible link through genetic studies”


  1. Image Credit: Frustrated Caucasian Woman by Stock Images; Freedigitalphotos.net; Web October 2014; http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Emotions_g96-Frustrated_Caucasian_Woman_p81435.html
  2. Link Found Between Migraine And Parkinson’s; Medical News Today; Web October 2014; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/282678.php
  3. Migraines In Middle Age, Parkinson’s Risk Later? WebMD.com; Web October 2014; http://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/news/20140917/are-migraines-in-middle-age-tied-to-raised-parkinsons-risk-later

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Corydalis Can Stub Pain Before Full-Blown Migraine Attack



Corydalis (Chinese Poppy) Has The Power To Kill Migraine Pain (1)

Another natural alternative to stubbing migraine pain in the bud is the plant corydalis. It is also known as Chinese Poppy and is a popular analgesic used in the Chinese medicine system.

In the January 28th show of Dr. Oz Show, the doctor said that corydalis is both natural and a cheap option to treat migraine pains. In addition, corydalis does not come with any side effects! He suggests a dosage of 3 – 9 grams (six capsules) of twice or thrice a day would help treat chronic and migraine pains. (2)

As per acupuncturist Dr. Hsu corydalis contains very potent pain killing chemical called dehydrocorybulbine (DHCB) which is known to thwart pains from migraines, menstrual cramps, back pain and rheumatism. Corydalis works by causing the release of dopamine into our bloodstream thus giving us a feeling of well-being. However, it is not addictive in nature as is common with chemicals that work the central nervous system.

Research has also been conducted by the University of California when the scientists were searching for compounds in corydalis that seemed likely to function in a manner similar to morphine.

As per lead researcher at the University Olivier Civelli, “We landed on DHCB but rapidly found that it acts not through the morphine receptor but through other receptors, in particular one that binds dopamine.” Some of the earlier studies have indicated that the dopamine D2 receptor plays a critical role in pain sensations. (3)


  1. Image Credit: Corydalis; Medical Daily; Web February 2014; http://bit.ly/1nGMHAq
  2. Dr. Oz details natural painkillers to relieve migraines and back pain; Examiner.com; Web February 2014; http://www.examiner.com/article/dr-oz-details-natural-painkillers-to-relieve-migraines-and-back-pain
  3. Traditional Chinese medicine proves effective for chronic pain; Tracktec.in; Web February 2014; http://www.tracktec.in/2014/01/traditional-chinese-medicine-proves-effective-for-chronic-pain.html

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Excellent Exercises For Migraineurs


For over a month now, I have been covering technical areas of migraine condition to increase our understanding of the internal dynamics of this neurological disease.   Today’s post will encompass what we can do in terms of physical activities and exercises to keep the migraine beast best tamed- i.e. we will look at the external dynamics which is within our control. Remember, our aim should be to:

a. Increase levels of Serotonin

b. Increase levels of the pain-fighting Endorphin

c. Increase levels of Dopamine

 All repetitive movements raise serotonin levels. This includes chewing, massages and the like, though the elevation in serotonin levels through such activities is marginal and ephemeral.

Significant increase in serotonin combined with endorphin and dopamine levels occur at the time of any activity that involves continuous or continual exertion for a certain period of time – a minimum of 20 minutes. If you can incorporate repetitive movements to such an exercise sessions, it would augment the effect of serotonin and endorphin. Let’s look at the activities that can give such benefits:

1. Brisk Walking

2. Jogging

3. Running

4. Weight training

5. Cycling – outdoors and stationary

6. Swimming

7. Dancing

8. Stretching

9. Yoga

10. Pilates

11. Aerobics – Step, Circuit training etc

12. Kickboxing

13. Any Sport

14. Gym activities – treadmills, elliptical, rowing machines, push-ups etc

15. Any other activity that causes you to exert for 20 minutes at one go (with possible rest periods built in)

If you have never done exertive physical activities before or have led a sedate life, it is advisable to keep your exercise routine to 30 minutes every other day. If you do not have the luxury of working out 30-minutes in a single go, break it up. You can fit in lots of 10 minutes thrice in a day. It all adds up.

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Endorphines and Migraineurs

Lack of enough exercises leads us to a condition of low dopamine and low endorphin release. When these are on a low, there isn’t enough to act in nexus with serotonin, triggering migraines. So migraineurs, catch up on your exercises.

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Migraineur, a martial artist?

What I mean to say is that it is important for all of us to get physical exercise but it is imperative for the migraineur. Dopamine is released when we enter the moderate intensity of any exercise session. Its secretion is linked to increased heart rate and blood pressure. 

It may seem like a tall order for someone who may be migraining more than once a week, but it is all the more important for them to get some exercise on the days they are fine – even if it is just the 15 minutes. I have heard migraineurs say, that they are on a catch-up mode (with work) on the days they are pain-free. I say, catch-up with your body first. 

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