Tuesday, July 19, 2016

What causes migraine attacks?

Migraines are the second most common headache syndrome, affecting between 12 and 14% of the population. But what generates a migraine attack?

It is difficult to test migraine patients to find out what causes the attacks, as it’s not known when one may strike. In a recent study a migraine patient underwent brain imaging for 30 days in a row, recording three untreated migraine attacks.

The scans showed that in each case the hypothalamus was significantly more active in the 24 hours preceding the migraine pain and showed phase-specific interactions with the brainstem, suggesting that the hypothalamus is the primary generator of migraine attacks.
Journal article:http://brain.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2016/05/04/brain.aww097
Corina Marinescu

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