People with migraines have differences in brain area

November 20th, 2007 - 1:32 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Nov 20 (ANI): A new study has revealed that people with migraines have differences in an area of the brain that helps process sensory information, including pain.

The difference discovered during the study was that a part of the cortex area of the brain is thicker in people with migraine than in people who do not have the neurological disorder.

The study, which compared 24 people with migraine to 12 people without it, found that the somatosensory cortex area of the brain was an average of 21 percent thicker in those with migraine.

Repeated migraine attacks may lead to, or be the result of, these structural changes in the brain, said study author Nouchine Hadjikhani, MD, of The Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Most of these people had been suffering from migraines since childhood, so the long-term overstimulation of the sensory fields in the cortex could explain these changes. Its also possible that people who develop migraines are naturally more sensitive to stimulation, Hadjikhani added.

Hadjikhani said the findings have indicated that the brains sensory mechanisms are important components in migraine.

This may explain why people with migraines often also have other pain disorders such as back pain, jaw pain, and other sensory problems such as allodynia, where the skin becomes so sensitive that even a gentle breeze can be painful, Hadjikhani said.

The study published is in the November 20, 2007, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. (ANI) Ends NB NNNN

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