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Thank You For Staying With  The Migraines-In-Women Blog

 

Image Credit: “Happy Christmas With Bauble” by Maple; FreeDigitalPhotos.net; Web December 2013; http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Christmas_g54-Happy_Christmas_With_Bauble_p65899.html

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Stealthy BPA In Your Water Bottle Could Be Giving You That Migraine

Migraine Water Bootle Plastic

Bisphenol A in plastic water bottles and containers found to trigger migraines (1)

Bisphenol A or BPA is a carbon-based synthetic compound and a type of bisphenol that is used in the making of certain plastics and epoxy resins. BPA is known to exhibit hormone mimicking properties when mammals are exposed to it in higher doses but even at lower but sustained exposure to BPA is suspected of causing damage to fetus, infants and the young. Countries of the European Union and Canada have banned the use of BPA in the manufacture of feeding bottles. However, it does go into making plastic containers used for storage in the kitchen and the omnipresent plastic water bottles, plastic microwave trays etc we use every day. It is also found in other products like shower curtains, till receipts etc.

Recently conducted research by University of Kansas on mice showed that such mice as were exposed to BPA every three days exhibited signs of migraines within half an hour of the exposure – becoming almost inactive, keeping away from light or sound, being startled easily and showed signs signalling tenderness in the head region. (2)

Lydia Vermeer, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in Berman’s lab said, “We hypothesized that BPA exposure would activate estrogen receptors, exacerbating migraine symptoms.” The hypothesis that BPA mimics the hormone estrogen was confirmed when the researchers found an influx of estrogen levels signalled by the rat brain in the exposed rats.  As per The Mayo Clinic hormone estrogen (as well as progesterone) plays key roles in regulating the menstrual cycle and pregnancy which may affect headache-related chemicals in the brain.

According to the report of the study that was published in the journal Toxicological Sciences, “These results imply that BPA has the ability to amplify symptoms that are used to diagnose the disorder in human patients, suggesting that exposure to BPA would increase both the incidence and prevalence of this disorder.” (3)

As per Dr. Nancy Berman, “This is an entirely new direction for the field of migraine.” (4) The scientists now believe that a change in diet might provide some relief for migraine sufferers, who make more than 68 million visits to physicians’ offices or emergency rooms in the United States each year.

Bisphenol A (BPA) has already been linked to a range of health problems including obesity, infertility and heart attacks.

SOURCES

  1. Image Credit: Beautiful Woman Drinking Water In Nature; Adamr; freedigitalphotos.net; Web December 2013; http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/beautiful-woman-dring-water-in-nature-photo-p219061
  2. Controversial Bisphenol A in water bottles could be causing migraines; News.com.au; Web December 2013; http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/controversial-bisphenol-a-in-water-bottles-could-be-causing-migraines/story-fneuz9ev-1226775854588
  3. Chemical commonly found in plastics makes migraines worse, researchers show; Kansas University Medical Center – News; Web December 2013; http://www.kumc.edu/news-listing-page/researchers-show-connection-between-bisphenol-a-and-migraine.html
  4. To watch the interview with lead researcher Dr. Nancy Berman (PhD: M.I.T., Cambridge, Massachusetts),- Prof. Anatomy and Cell Biology here’s the link on Fox News: http://video.foxnews.com/v/2888723547001/study-finds-possible-link-between-bpa-and-migraine-headaches/?playlist_id=930909749001

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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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Disrupted Default Mode Network Seen In Migraineurs W/o Aura: Study

Neural Netwoork

The Default Mode Network Shows Functional Disruptions For Migraineurs W/o Aura (1)

A recent study published in The Journal of Headache and Pain spoke of disrupted default mode network in migraineurs. The study used specialized imaging device, the RS-fMRI or the Resting State functional MRI to show the disrupted network in pain conditions including migraines.

The research departments of five institutes were involved in this groundbreaking study – Department of Neurology, Second University of Naples, Institute for Diagnosis and Care “Hermitage Capodimonte”, Neuro-radiology Service, Second University of Naples, Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands, and Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Salerno.

A default mode network or DMN is the arrangement of connections of different brain regions which are active when a person is not focussed on something yet is in wakeful rest state. At such a state, the default mode network takes over and it is characterized by coherent neuronal oscillations at a rate lower than 0.1 Hz (2). However, when the mind is focussed on to something like task completion activities, the DMN is automatically de-activated and another network known as the Task Positive Network or TPN is activated.

The study was aimed at finding the DMN functional connectivity in migraineurs without aura and see if it was clinically relevant. Two groups were used in the study population – 20 patients with migraines without aura and 20 gender and age-matched healthy controls were studied. The imaging and tracking tools used were Brain Voyager QX. Voxel-based morphometry was used to assess whether between-group differences in DMN functional connectivity were related to structural differences.

The study exhibited that there was a significant reduction in the connectivity at the prefrontal and temporal regions of the default network (DMN) for the migraineurs without aura. However, there was no correlation of these findings with the fact if the migraineurs had any structural abnormalities or clinical and neuropsychological features.

As per the research correspondent Alessandro Tessitore, “We hypothesize that a DMN dysfunction may be related to behavioural processes such as a maladaptive response to stress which seems to characterize patients with migraine.” (3)

To view details of this study, you may access the Springer’s Open Access pdf file: http://www.thejournalofheadacheandpain.com/content/pdf/1129-2377-14-89.pdf

SOURCES

  1.  Image Credits: Neuron by Renjith Krishnan; FreeDigitalPhotos,net; Web November 2013; http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Human_body_g281-Neuron_p125335.html
  2. Default Mode Network; Wikipedia; Web November 2013; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Default_mode_network
  3. Disrupted default mode network connectivity in migraine without aura; 7thSpaceInteractive; Web November 2013; http://7thspace.com/headlines/446815/disrupted_default_mode_network_connectivity_in_migraine_without_aura.html

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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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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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