Posted: 07/27/2016

We May Now Know What Causes Migraines

Young_woman_with_migraine

Treatment for migraines has been elusive because it's difficult to pinpoint a single underlying cause. Additionally, not everyone in the world gets migraines. 12% of the world's population have migraines on some regular basis, and 80% of those that do have a family history of migraines. Migraine treatment now is largely a combination of specialty pain relievers such as Relpax or acetaminophen combined with caffeine, but there are not currently any methods of addressing the causes of a migraine.



Relpax Migraine Treatment

Using these clues, a new study by the International Headache Genetics Consortium has determined that there is a good chance migraines are caused by muscular and vascular problems that are coded into DNA.

Migraines Caused by Muscular and Vascular Problems
The muscular problems that may trigger migraines include muscular contractions, sometimes minute, that happen consistently and cause muscle fatigue. The worn muscles send pain signals to the brain to encourage you to rest and enable the body to reduce the contractions.

Vascular problems such as hardening or clogged arteries as well as genetic predisposition to cardiovascular problems may cause the head pain in migraines that is accompanied by gastrointestinal and other general symptoms.

Muscular Problems and Migraines
The muscular element that researchers believe is leading to migraines may indicate a relation to tension headaches. Tension headaches are well-researched phenomena of stress, overwork, and lack of sleep. They resemble migraines closely, except are void of the other bodily symptoms of migraine such as nausea and vomiting.

However, the severe, throbbing pain of tension headaches is almost identical to that of a migraine. There may be multiple reasons for migraines that are related and occur in conjunction, which could mean that tension headaches are part of the migraine experience.

Vascular Problems and Migraines
Finding what causes migraines is very important as it could lead to the detection of underlying issues. When there are problems with blood flow and delivery, sufferers often do not feel the symptoms of a weakening cardiovascular system until it is too late. Heart attack and heart failure may occur as a result of vascular deterioration, and it is during the recovery process from such emergencies that symptoms similar to migraines can be felt.

As blood returns to the veins, arteries, and tissues in the body after heart failure, it is accompanied by full-body pain and nausea. Full recovery takes time, and the pain associated with migraines can be felt while tissues are resupplied with blood.

Similarly, those who have a genetic predisposition to suffer from blood flow problems may also have an inclination to suffer from symptoms of insufficient blood delivery. When combined with muscular problems, symptoms resemble that of classic migraines.

How Will the Study Help Treatment?
The study has helped to locate additional differences in DNA between migraine sufferers and those who live migraine-free. These differences are called loci, and researchers found 38 loci associated with migraine risk in the new study. The loci were related to vascular and smooth muscle tissue, which has pointed to migraines stemming from problems with blood flow.

These findings and those in the future will help researchers determine how migraine sufferers can be treated individually based on the genetics that increase their migraine risk and the what the possible causes are for migraine headaches. For information about migraines and their treatment, visit our Headache Migraine Condition Page.

By HelpRx Staff Writer

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About the HelpRx.info Blog

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