One new perspective article underlines a fascinating theory. According to it, migraine attacks are an integrated mechanism which is used by the brain for protection and repair. Recent insightful findings and potential ways for helping migraine sufferers had been published by Headache.
Migraines trouble have approximately 14% of the population in the world, which actually is 1.04 billion people. Just in the US, migraine causes approximately $36 billion annually in lost productivity. In addition, it causes 113 million lost work days.
Some previous research suggested that those people who experience migraines have higher levels of oxidative stress. Jonathan Borkum, Ph.D. of the University of Maine explains that migraine triggers – that usually include stress, sleep disruption, noise, as well as diet and air pollution – can increase brain oxidative stress.
This is actually an imbalance which exists between the production of free radicals. It is also the ability of the body to counteract their harmful effects.
Dr. Borkum said:
“Oxidative stress is a useful signal of impending harm, as a number of unfavorable conditions in the brain can actually give rise to it.”
As a result of this, targeting stress can actually help in preventing or preempt migraines.
Dr. Borkum, in his article named Views and Perspectives, examines the components of a migraine attack individually. In the case of a known threat to the brain, like an interruption in blood supply, each of the components is protective: boosting antioxidant defenses, as well as reducing the production of oxidants, reducing energy requirements and most importantly, releasing growth factors into the brain which protect existing neurons and boost the birth and growth of new neurons.
Dr. Borkum explained:
“Actually, there exist some feedback loops between those components of a migraine attack that also tie them together into an integrated system. So, when it comes to this, it actually seems likely that migraine attacks are not simply triggered by oxidative stress. However, they actively protect, as well as repair the brain from it.”
For several years, people were tempted to associate the migraine attack, as well as the pain, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound, with a disorder. But, the symptoms of a disease, for example, fever, swelling, pain or a cough, which are usually not the disease itself but instead part of the defense against it of the body.
As Dr. Borkum said:
“So this theory here actually tells us that for truly solving migraines, we will have to look beneath the attack to understand the underlying vulnerability of the brain, what gives rise to the oxidative stress.”
The theory also consists those alternative discovering preventive medications and lifestyles. They actually focus on lowering oxidative stress and increasing the release of growth factors. Furthermore, it sheds lights on neural housekeeping, or on how the brain can actually maintain and heal itself.
Dr. Borkum also said:
“The existence of an integrated system for protecting, as well as repairing the brain could turn out to be quite useful. For instance, from this mechanism, we may one day have the ability to learn how to prevent neurodegenerative disease.”