New Research From AAN: Your Pain Threshold Directly Links To Cortical Thickness

Brain Cortical Thickess

Brain Cortical Thickness Directly Implicated In Feeling Migraine Pain (1)

A new study presented by Mayo Clinic at the AAN’s (American Academy of Neurology) 67th Annual Meeting was highlighted by the Vice Chair of the Academy. The study clearly demonstrated that there was a direct and positive correlation between the cortical thickness in the brain and the thresholds of pain in migraineurs.

As per the Vice Chair of the AAN, Dr. Rost, who is also the director of acute stroke services at the Massachusetts General Hospital and an associate professor at the Harvard Medical School, “The object of study was to evaluate the cortical thickness in the areas that are potentially associated with pain processing.” (2)

Incidentally, other independent studies conducted previously have also indicated that migraineurs are hypersensitive to perceiving their pain partially because they are over-vigilant to certain painful stimuli and are usually not able to distract themselves from the pain or pain stimuli successfully.

The study examined a total of 63 subjects out of which 31 were migraineurs and the remaining were healthy individuals and formed the control group. Using the T1 sequencing technique in MRIs they studied the cortical thickness of each region of their brains and calculated the relation to the person’s pain threshold.

The values arrived at showed a negative correlation in cortical thickness and pain threshold among non-migraineurs. However, the control group had lower cortical thickness in the area of their interest. On the contrary, migraineurs not only had a positive correlation but had less tolerance to specific pain stimuli. The most significant difference in the cortical thickness between the migraineurs and the control group was found to be in the left superior temporal, anterior parietal regions of the brain. Thus this finding, along with some previous studies form a new approach where the doctors should not only use the old techniques to manage migraines but also apply new one where migraineurs are able to inhibit their pain to a significant extent by distracting themselves from it.

According to Dr. Rost, “This is in face the region of the brain that participates in attention to painful stimulus and orientation to that stimulus. It opens an interesting segue into the dynamic interaction of neurons during a migraine. There is a way to retrain the brain and that plasticity, biofeedback and other therapies, play a role in that.”

SOURCE

  1. Human Brain by Dream Designs via Stock Photo; Freedigitalphotos.net; Web May 2015; http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/human-brain-photo-p214120
  2. A New Way To Think About Migraines: Biosciencetechnlogy.com; Web May 2015; http://www.biosciencetechnology.com/articles/2015/05/new-way-think-about-migraines
  3. Correlations between Brain Cortical Thickness and Cutaneous Pain Thresholds Are Atypical in Adults with Migraine; PLOSOne.com; Web May 2015; http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0099791

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Launch of Migraine Patch Zecuity Delayed: NuPathe Inc.

nupathe-patch

 

NuPathe Delays The Launch Of Zecuity To Early 2014 (1)

The innovative neuroscience solutions company NuPathe Inc. has announced a delay in the launch of it’s product – a migraine patch that is worn directly on the skin of the upper arm, called Zecuity. The product that was expected to hit the market near the end of this year has now been shifted to early 2014. NuPathe had obtained FDA approval for the marketing of Zecuity earlier this year.

Zecuity is basically a drug delivery system. To be precise it is a sumatriptan iontophoretic trans-dermal system, i.e. it delivers sumatriptan via the skin route using the process of iontophoresis. Iontophoresis involves the delivering of a drug through the skin using low electrical current and so the Zecuity skin patch is embedded with two coin cell lithium batteries which regulate the quantity of current applied and sumatriptan delivered (2). So far, sumatriptan has been known to be delivered through the oral route as pills, injections or as spray via the nasal route. Zecuity is safe for the treatment of acute migraines on patients with or without aura.

Without going into details, the NuPathe CEO Armando Anido, “NuPathe has made substantial progress [toward] securing a partner to maximize the commercial potential of Zecuity. We believe that puts us in a good position to secure a commercial partner and while we have made progress on the partnership and manufacturing fronts, in order to extend our cash runway, we are limiting and delaying certain sales and marketing activities” (3)

However caution is to be exercised with the use of Zecuity if the migraine patient is already on Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), Selective Norepinephrine Inhibitors (SNRIs) or has previously existing conditions such as epilepsy, cardiovascular diseases (heart disease and stroke), diabetes or high cholesterol levels, pregnant or undergoing menopause. (4)

SOURCES

  1. Image Credits: ZECUITY Electronic Drug Patch for Acute Migraines Approved in U.S.Medgadget.com; November 2013; http://www.medgadget.com/2013/01/zecuity-electronic-drug-patch-for-acute-migraines-approved-in-u-s.html
  2. Zecuity; RxList.com; Web November 2013; http://www.rxlist.com/zecuity-drug.htm
  3. NuPathe delays launch of migraine patch; Healthcare Inc. Philadelphia – BizJournal.com; Web November 2013; http://www.bizjournals.com/philadelphia/blog/health-care/2013/11/nupathe-delays-launch-of-migraine-patch.html
  4. Zecuity; zecuity.com; Web November 2013; http://www.zecuity.com/

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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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Migraine With Aura Pegs Risk For All Stroke Types In Women

mIGRAINE sTROKE

Women Migraineurs Experiencing Aura Are At An Increased Risk Of Suffering All Stroke Types (1)

A research that studied 28,000 women has found that such women as those who experience migraines with aura – either visual or sensational and non-visual are at a significantly increased risk of suffering from all types of strokes (ischemic or hemorrhagic ) as those compared to women who do not experience migraines. The findings of the study are to be presented at the International Headache Congress 2013 at Boston. (2)

Ischemic strokes occur when there is a blockage causing reduced blood supply to any part of the brain leading to brain cell and tissue death. Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when an artery in the brain ruptures and causes bleeding in the brain.

Visual aura in migraineurs is a neurological phenomenon typified by visual aberrations or distortions such as perceiving an image as partly broken or with zigzag lines, experiencing blind spots, having a vision festered with sparks or flashing and shimmering lights, inability to gauge distance or margin between two objects. It could involve seeing of wavy lines and experiencing hallucinations. (3)

Aura a migraineur may suffer from may be non-visual in nature such as experiencing vertigo, numbness of tongue, feeling pins and needles on the palms and face or even experiencing of motor debility.

According to Dr. Tobias Kurth, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston , “Migraine with aura has been consistently linked with increased risk of ischemic stroke and there is also some evidence that it increases risk of hemorrhagic stroke. In this study we sought to determine the importance of migraine with aura in stroke occurrence relative to other stroke risk factors” (4)

The following observations were made during the study:

Period

Migraineurs With Aura

Cardiovascular Patients

Base Year or Year 0 1435 0
Year 15 1435 528 strokes:

  • 430 Ischemic
  • 96 Hemorrhagic
  • 02 Unknown strokes

It was concluded in the news release that for total, ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, migraine with aura was a strong relative contributor.

Caution: The data and conclusions of research presented at medical meetings are typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

SOURCES:

  1. Image Credit: Woman Holding Her Head; Photographer: Marin; FreeDigitalPhotos.net; http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/agree-terms.php?id=100173635
  2. Migraine With Aura May Be Linked to All Stroke Types; Medicinet.com; Web June 2013; http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=170823
  3. Migraines With Aura, Chapter 5, Page 34; Migraines For The Informed Woman by Mamta Singh; ISBN: 978-81-291-1517-1; June 2013; http://www.amazon.com/Migraines-Informed-Woman-Tips-Sufferer/dp/8129115174
  4. Migraine With Aura May Be Linked to All Stroke Types; WebMD.com; Web June 2013; http://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/news/20130626/migraine-with-aura-may-be-linked-to-all-stroke-types

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