Migraine Treatment To Make up for ‘Lost Time’

August 16, 2012

Do you ever wonder to where time flies when you are having a ball?  What about when you are having anything but fun…doesn’t it seem like time is just dragging?  And, then other times, it just feels like you’re in a fog?  Well, if you suffer with chronic migraines, and your migraine treatments haven’t been helping very much, you aren’t experiencing these time warps alone.  It might be reassuring to learn that scientists have found evidence supported by data that migraineurs may indeed experience cognitive disruptions during an attack to explain the mysterious ‘foggy headed’ sensation.

Scientists from China’s Anhui Medical University, in Hefei, Anhui Province, China, conducted a research study of 27 adults with migraines and of 27 adults without a headache condition. Reuters news service reported that all the subjects where tested by requiring that they estimate the time it took for a series of rectangles to appear on a computer screen.  The people with chronic migraines typically overestimated a 600-millisecond stimulation to be twice as long, lasting 1.2 seconds. The non-headache group, on average estimated the stimulation to last .9 seconds.  While this difference is miniscule it certainly indicates there may be a valid reason why migraineurs sometimes feel fuzzy about ‘time’.

According to an interview with a neurologist from the Cleveland Clinic, the Reuters report suggests this time distortion phenomenon may have something to do with the “Alice in Wonderland” syndrome, named for the famous novel by Lewis Carroll, and occasionally associated with chronic migraines.  According to Wikipedia, the syndrome is a neurological event where blood flow to certain parts of the brain is affected and impacts visual perception. It’s described as feeling like one is ‘losing time’.  The usual migraine treatments are prescribed for this symptom.  Medications and migraine-friendly diets are recommended.

While this study, published in the journal Headache, didn’t suggest the slight time distortion has any noticeable impact on cognitive function or daily life, it is certainly reassuring to hear the validation of what some chronic migraneurs experience—feeling a ‘little off’.  If you experience this sense of ‘lost time’ with your migraines, you should talk to your doctor about what migraine treatment options may help you better manage this along with your other migraine related symptoms.

Photo courtesy © Can Stock Photo Inc.

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