There are many speculative migraine headache causes you can find online. Recently, researchers at John Hopkins University identified a new way to predict migraine headaches for patients. Doctors are hopeful their findings will lead to new treatments for migraine headaches.
Migraine Headache Causes in New Research
In This Article:
- Headaches and Migraine
- New Migraine Research on Migraine Triggers
- Sphingolipids in the Brain
- Finding the Migraine Headache Cause
- Brain Lipids Affecting Migraines
- Ceramide in the Cells
- What This Means For Migraine Sufferers
Headaches and Migraine
There are different types of headaches, from cluster headaches to normal head pain. But some people consider a common migraine to be the worst type of a headache. There is no single cause of migraine attacks which make them difficult to prevent. This makes John Hopkins University’s newest findings big news for chronic migraine sufferers.
New Migraine Research on Migraine Triggers
This new research shows that specific fatty acids in the brain, called sphingolipids, could indicate the presence or absence of a migraine. The finding shows that sphingolipids in the brain are different in people with migraines.
Sphingolipids in the Brain
Sphingolipids are a type of lipid which were discovered in the human brain in the 1870s. It plays a role in cell recognition and signal transmission in the nervous system. They are also believed to protect a cell’s surface from environmental factors.
Finding the Migraine Headache Cause
Using information gathered from lipids that manage inflammation levels in the brain, scientists created a computer program able to diagnose migraine headaches by analyzing blood lipid levels. This program correctly identified people who suffered migraines and those who did not.
Brain Lipids Affecting Migraines
Researchers found that levels of a specific lipid called ceramide were lower in people with migraines. Increased levels of ceramide in the brain were associated with more than a 90% decrease in migraine risk. Increased levels of the lipid demonstrated nearly a 3 times greater migraine risk.
Ceramide in the Cells
This is another form of lipid molecule which is made up of sphingosine and fatty acids. They act as important protectors along with lipid bilayers which play a role in stabilizing the structure of a cell. Similar to sphingolipids, ceramide also influences cellular signaling. Its additional roles include proliferation, differentiation, and programming cell death.
What This Means For Migraine Sufferers
Identifying sphingolipids as a biomarker to diagnose a migraine is a significant first step in combating migraine headaches. Researchers are now considering how these fatty acids could be used to develop treatment plans for future migraines.
Watch this video from Academy of Integrative Pain Management for tips on how to manage your migraine headaches:
This new finding on migraine headache causes can better advise treatment processes and patient teachings. Though the research is still ongoing, the potential role of lipids in the body could start new innovations in migraine management.
How do you deal with a headache or a migraine? Mention them in the comments section below!
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. None of the nutritional products mentioned is intended to Diagnose, Treat, Cure, or Prevent Any Disease.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on October 26, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.