“A pain in the brain” on page 27 of the December issue of Scientific American is a breakthrough in the understanding of migraine headaches. For the first time it is now understood what causes them. No it is not blood vessels or pressure on the brain but a nerve called the trigeminal nerve system. Exiting the base of the brain it branches out to cover the face, up to and around the eyes. It appears that the nerve system gets over stimulated (since it takes in the eyes it explains why auras are seen in some) and that over stimulation travels into the brain. From my understanding it may be that the over stimulation allows for too much sensory information to enter the brain at once alone a single pathway and it triggers the migraine.
So if we now know what triggers a migraine can we stop it? It appears so. With this finding the article states that beta blockers (like those used for the heart) are the best current treatment. So based on the context it appears a person would need to take them daily. However trials have been ongoing for a drug that may be approved in 2016. It is a monthly shot. Although I do not suffer from migraines I do get cluster headaches. Cluster headaches (by some doctors) are said to be worse than a migraine but lesser understood. But unlike a migraine cluster headaches are not nearly as frequent. I get maybe 3 a year; my son also suffers from clusters as do 2 of my sisters. Although doctors say clusters are more painful I believe that migraines are worse since they are far more frequent in occurrence. Hopefully the testing of the drug will continue to show positive results and it will be approved and in turn help millions of migraine suffers.
DeWayne Watts: I started out writing short stories and poetry. Some of which was published in the 1980's. I have parts of 5 novels written and have completed 2 novels. I have been married over 25 years and raised 2 wonderful sons who have been a great addition to the human family.
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The 3 Novels/Books Written By DeWayne Watts
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"The Boy in The Wood"
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