Migraine brains ‘are different’
Scientists have discovered differences in the sensory areas of the brains of people who develop migraines.
They found a part of the cortex is thicker than in people who are free from the debilitating headaches.
What is not clear is whether the difference causes, or is the result of migraine attacks.
The Neurology study, by Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, suggests the changes may make patients hyper-sensitive to pain in general.
The researchers, from the hospital’s Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, compared 24 people who get migraines with 12 who do not suffer the condition.
They found the somatosensory cortex area of the brain was up to 21% thicker in the migraine sufferers.
later in the same article:
Previous research has shown that the cortex becomes thinner with neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.
Part of the cortex, although not the somatosensory area, is also known to thicken with extensive motor training and learning.
Dr Andrew Dowson, medical advisor to the Migraine Action Association, said there was much international research currently under way using sophisticated imaging techniques to examine the impact of chronic pain on the central nervous system.
Evidence was emerging that it could lead to changes both in the connections made between brain cells, and in the hard-wiring of the brain.
“This study is with a small number of subjects but the findings might indicate an important result of or even cause of migraine.
“Who knows where this might lead with new diagnostic possibilities and therapeutic targets?”
link to article
Because I live with chronic pain, I can’t say I am hyper-sensitive to pain. If I were, I’d not get up out of bed ever again. Hell, I’d not take my next breath. There’s a lot of my pain I shuffle off to the back of my mind where it sits all day. It sits there all day, every day.
Although, when I have a migraine, I am more aware of the rest of my body’s pain. Is it because the migraine has made me hyper-sensitive or is it that the pain can’t go to the back of my mind like always?