People with regular migraines are more likely to get dizzy or motion sick while riding roller coaster, a new study found.
A group of 40 people, half of whom had regular migraines and the other did not, had their brains scanned while they watched videos of a virtual roller coaster ride.
The team from the University of Hamburg in Germany found not only that migraineurs get dizzy, but also that they had more nerve cell activity in certain areas of the brain and less activity in other areas.
The visual processing area of the brain was one of the main regions that had increased activity in the migraineurs while watching the roller coaster.
According to the NHS, around 10 million people aged 15 to 69 in the UK suffer from migraines, causing up to 16,500 emergency hospital visits each year.
The team hopes that by identifying and localizing these changes, future studies may better understand migraines and lead to the development of new treatments.
People with regular migraines are more likely to get dizzy or motion sick while riding roller coaster, a new study found. Image from a picture agency
WHAT WILL HELP PREVENT MIGRAINE?
Being open to new experiences reduces people’s risk of migraines, as suggested in June 2017.
A penchant for variety over routine prevents debilitating headaches in depression, one study found.
However, neuroticism – a personality trait associated with nervousness and irritability – increases the risk of migraines, the research adds.
Study author Dr. Máté Magyar from Semmelweis University in Budapest said: “An open character seems to offer protection from [migraine].
“Our study results could help to better understand the biopsychosocial background of migraines and to find new strategies in prevention and intervention” [migraine]. ‘
The researchers analyzed the association between personality traits, depression and migraines in more than 3,000 patients with mental illness.
Depression is associated with an increased risk of migraines.
The participants were classified according to openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, tolerance and neuroticism.
A migraine is a moderate to severe headache that is felt as a throbbing pain on one side of the head.
However, some people may experience nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and noise.
Migraines are a common condition, according to the NHS, which says it affects about one in five women and about one in 15 men.
The condition usually begins to affect people in early adulthood.
“Millions of people regularly suffer from painful and debilitating migraine headaches that can affect their quality of life,” said study author Arne May
“People with migraines often complain of dizziness, balance problems and an incorrect perception of their body’s position in space during migraines.”
This led to a virtual roller coaster study that found that some of these problems are not only exacerbated in people with migraines, but are also linked to changes in different areas of the brain.
May and colleagues used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to take brain scans of each participant while they watched videos to experience the virtual roller coaster rides.
None of the volunteers experienced a migraine during the virtual trips.
After seeing the videos of the virtual roller coasters, they conducted a survey.
They were asked about their perceived level of dizziness, motion sickness and other symptoms that they might have experienced while “driving”.
They found that 65 percent of people who regularly suffer from migraines felt dizzy while “driving”, compared to 30 percent of people who did not have migraines.
On a motion sickness questionnaire that rated symptom intensity on a scale of 1-180, those with a history of migraines had an average score of 47 compared to an average score of 24 for people without migraines.
People with migraines also experienced symptoms longer, an average of one minute and 19 seconds compared to an average of 27 seconds.
The brain scans enabled the researchers to identify changes in nerve cell activity based on blood flow to specific areas of the brain.
A group of 40 people, half of whom had regular migraines and the other did not, had their brains scanned while they watched videos of a virtual roller coaster ride. Image from a picture agency
People with migraines had increased activity in five areas of the brain, including two areas in the occipital gyrus, the visual processing area of the brain, and decreased activity in two other areas, including the middle frontal gyrus.
These brain changes correlated with migraine disability and motion sickness scores.
“Another area of the brain that we found high levels of nerve cell activity in migraineurs was in the pontine nuclei, which help regulate movement and other motor activities,” May said.
“This increased activity could be related to abnormal transmission of visual, auditory and sensory information in the brain.
“Future research should now examine larger groups of people with migraines to see if our results can be confirmed.”
The results were published in Neurology, the American Academy of Neurology’s medical journal.
Can CANNABIS be used to treat migraines? The first attempt to test THC and CBD as potential treatments for acute headache is underway
While every fifth woman and every fifth man suffers from migraines, current treatments such as pain relievers and pills for nausea are ineffective for many sufferers.
Scientists are now testing whether cannabis could be used to treat migraines, in what is believed to be the first study of its kind.
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, are testing several compounds found in cannabis, including THC and CBD, on participants who have severe migraines.
The team hopes that the results of the study could help pave the way for treatment for patients whose lives are regularly affected by migraines.
Migraines are a common condition that begins in early adulthood, although the cause remains unclear.
The NHS explained, “A migraine is usually a moderate or severe headache that is felt as a throbbing pain on one side of the head.
“Many people also have symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and an increased sensitivity to light or noise.”
There are several treatment options available, including pain relievers and anti-emetics, to help relieve nausea.
However, these are ineffective for many people who are forced to deal with the painful episodes on a regular basis.
Now researchers in California have started a small study to find out if cannabis compounds could be effective in treating migraines.
Dr. Nathaniel Schuster, who leads the study, said, “Many patients with migraines have had them for many years but have never discussed them with their doctors.
“They’re more likely to self-medicate with different treatments like cannabis.
“When patients ask us now whether cannabis works for migraines, we don’t have any evidence-based data to answer that question.”
So far, around 20 participants have been enrolled who have migraines every month, are not regular cannabis users, and are between 21 and 65 years old.