Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

Migraines: Of Mice and Men and Women

February 24, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 209

Migraines are severe headaches often accompanied by nausea, sensitivity to sound and light, and aura. An aura is a perceived sensory disturbance such as an unpleasant smell, a strange light, or confusing thoughts.

Women suffer from migraines more than men by a margin of 3 to 1. Why such a large difference? Research in recent years using a "mouse model" is beginning to answer that question.

Of Mice and CSD

A few years ago, researchers at the UCLA Department of Neurology used mice to study a phenomenon called cortical spreading depression (CSD), which has been suspected as a major cause of migraines. During the course of their experiments, they found a large difference between males and females in the triggering of CSD.

In years past, migraines were thought to be caused mainly by the constriction and dilation of blood vessels, but more recently it has come to light that brain excitability is probably more the culprit. As a result of a variety of modern neuro-imaging techniques, cortical spreading depression has been found in patients with migraines. CSD, as it is often called, consists of pronounced waves of activity that spread across the brain's surface. These waves are suspected not only of causing migraine pain, but also of triggering nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and auras.

Results for Men and Women

Regarding findings, Dr. Charles from UCLA said, "The strength of the stimulus required to trigger CSD in males was up to two or three times higher than that required to trigger the response in females." Which implies that women are more likely to get migraines than men by a similar margin. The reasons for this "intrinsic excitability," as quoted from Dr. Charles, were not given, but it does suggest that because of it, women are more susceptible to getting migraines.

The study also found various factors that may lessen the CSD threshold in males and females, which would make them more likely to get a migraine. These included dietary choices, stress levels, sleeping patterns, environmental triggers, and hormonal changes. The difference between threshold levels for males and females was consistent throughout the study.

More Study Needed

While the findings are promising to Dr. Charles and his colleagues, they also acknowledge the need for more and larger studies to confirm their research. They believe their results may provide a way to understand the mechanisms beneath the increased incidences of migraine headaches in women.

Edward Hedrenz works in the healthcare industry and enjoys writing about healthcare topics. To read more about headaches, check out Headaches Everyday and Headache Remedies.

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:





Migraine Headaches

Your body needs glucose in order to get energy for cell and tissue function. Without energy, the cells do not function properly and the immune system is compromised. When your blood glucose levels

By: Clifford H Woods l Health & Fitness > Diabetes l July 09, 2013 lViews: 2617

Heavy Metals - Free radicals (tissue damaging molecules that cause aging and bodily deterioration) are the result of the ever-present toxins within our environment. Heavy metals are contained in

By: Clifford H Woods l Health & Fitness > Supplements l July 09, 2013 lViews: 607

Braun shavers and trimmers are very standard brand and their new curser beard and head trimmer is big for trimming beards. This trimmer was specifically made to be able to trim down your beard and

By: Lovey Blackburn l Health & Fitness > Beauty l December 20, 2012 lViews: 460

On this website you will find latest makeup reviews and swatches from real people. You will know how makeup products look in real life, and you can also participate! Post your photos, tips and

By: l Health & Fitness > Beauty l December 09, 2012 lViews: 321

You can either seek referrals from friends and associates or search for consultants on the internet. The latter, in our opinion, would be a viable option for those pressed for time.You can either

By: Simon Liva l Health & Fitness > Diseases l December 07, 2012 lViews: 269

Healthy living is essential in today's world, to ensure one's well being. Learn how to relax and improve your mood now! Be it exercising, or indulging in one's passions and hobbies, be sure to set

By: Clarinda l Health & Fitness > Mind Body Spirit l December 02, 2012 lViews: 262

Have you noticed how you get a headache and a feeling of disorientation when you travel from one part of the globe to another? Say the trip is from a Western country to an Asian one. Upon your

By: Karen Wentworthl Health & Fitness > Headaches Migrainesl April 25, 2012 lViews: 327

Finding effective treatments for migraines can be challenging to say the least - but it doesn't have to drive you to the brink of insanity, nor does it require risky or potentially harmful

By: Brian Fedorl Health & Fitness > Headaches Migrainesl April 16, 2012 lViews: 236

Many people suffer from what are believed to be sinus headaches. Surprisingly however, a recent study from November 2011 begs to differ. Researchers had 58 patients who clearly seemed to have

By: James Schofieldl Health & Fitness > Headaches Migrainesl April 16, 2012 lViews: 226

Headaches are such a common ailment that many Americans perceive them as normal. On any given day, millions of people in the U.S. look for ways to get headache relief. While exact causes of headaches

By: James Schofieldl Health & Fitness > Headaches Migrainesl April 05, 2012 lViews: 200

In those who suffer from migraine headaches and seizures, anything that can help to reduce the number of attacks they have is a welcome addition. Clearly lifestyle and supplementation play a strong

By: James Bogash, D.C.l Health & Fitness > Headaches Migrainesl April 05, 2012 lViews: 220

While most sufferers consider them separate entities, migraines and seizures share many common characteristics, and the underlying problem with the cells of the brain are also similar. What

By: James Bogash, D.C.l Health & Fitness > Headaches Migrainesl April 03, 2012 lViews: 206

Most headaches occur infrequently and are easily treatable, but what do you do when they occur more often? Besides seeing your doctor, you can fight back in five ways over the long term to lessen

By: Edward Hedrenzl Health & Fitness > Headaches Migrainesl February 16, 2012 lViews: 167