Migraine Treatment Working for Different Reason

May 8, 2013

Nobody is excited about the prospect of undergoing medical procedures.  Migraine sufferers are no exception.  This is why so many potential migraine treatments, like trigger avoidance, lifestyle modifications and medications are exhausted before considering more interventional options like the long-lasting Omega migraine procedure.  For those of you who battle with chronic migraines, and who depend on medications known as triptans, there is some new medical research to explain why this therapy may or may not be working for you.  You may also be surprised to learn why!

For a long time migraines were believed to be caused by dilated blood vessels in the brain.  However, according to an article on Myhealthnewsdaily.com, researchers from Denmark noted that it is more likely that overactive firing of neurons in the brain causes migraine pain.  They noted that only 30 percent of individuals experience less pain two hours after taking triptans.  This research study was designed to understand what occurs during a migraine attack, and whether migraine treatments could be improved through further research.  The study observed brain blood vessel activity during a migraine in 19 women.  Utilizing magnetic resonance angiography, the researchers discovered that some blood vessels were slightly dilated within the brain, but the exterior blood vessels were not dilated.  When the subjects received triptans to reduce their pain, it was observed that the medication only constricted the exterior blood vessels. 

The study, published recently in the journal Lancet Neurology, concluded that it was not likely that dilated blood vessels caused migraine pain.   Rather that it was likely that neurons were firing pain signals, and that the triptans were in fact subduing these signals, thereby reducing the pain.  This study suggests that drugs and other migraine treatments, like the Omega migraine procedure, which focus on inhibiting pain signals may result in more effective and longer lasting relief in people suffering with chronic migraines.  

 

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