If you’re a glass-is-half-full kind of guy or gal, this latest research news may seem interesting and even promising for future migraine treatment research and development possibilities. However, if you’re more the worrier type, this might set off your chronic headaches or migraines. It seems that medical researchers have found a possible link between migraines and an unusual neurological disorder. The study, published in the journal Neurology, was reported on Medical News Today.
Scientists from the National Yang-Ming University and Taipei Veterans General Hospital discovered that migraine sufferers are two times as likely to develop Bell’s palsy as individuals who don’t have a migraine condition. This condition affects either or both sides of the face and results in weakness, twitching, partial or total paralysis and drooping of the eyelid and/or mouth. Other symptoms include dry mouth and/or eye and altered taste. While the precise origin of this disorder isn’t known, it’s believed to arise from an underlying virus like a cold, the flu or meningitis, which leads to nerve swelling in the face. Symptoms can resolve on their own in less than a couple of weeks, or the condition may require additional medical intervention like physical and steroid therapy.
In theorizing the connection between Bell’s palsy and migraine, the researchers suspect that the chronic headaches can irritate nerves, which could “predispose the facial nerve to demyelination after viral infection.” They also believe that both conditions involve certain vascular disorders that affect nerves.
If you have a chronic headache or migraine condition, this story shouldn’t cause you to worry needlessly. After all, you certainly don’t want to trigger a headache. A member of the study’s research team explained how the connection between Bell’s palsy and migraines impacts treatment in the future: “This is a very new association between migraine and Bell’s palsy. Our study also suggests that these two conditions may share a common underlying link. If a common link is identified and confirmed, more research may lead to better treatments for both conditions.”