People who regularly suffer from migraines are more likely to get dizzy or get motion sickness when they ride a roller coaster, a new study finds.
A group of 40 people, half of whom had regular migraines and the other half not, had their brains scanned while watching videos of a virtual roller coaster ride.
The team from the University of Hamburg in Germany not only revealed that those who struggle with migraines become more dizzy, they had more nerve cell activity in certain parts of the brain and less activity in other areas.
The visual processing area of the brain was one of the main regions that experienced increased activity in migraineurs while watching the roller coaster.
According to the NHS, around 10 million people aged 15-69 in the UK suffer from migraines, causing up to 16,500 hospital admissions each year.
The team hopes that by identifying and localizing these changes, future studies can better understand migraines and lead to the development of new treatments.
People who regularly suffer from migraines are more likely to get dizzy or get motion sickness when they ride a roller coaster, a new study finds. stock image
WHAT HELPS PREVENT MIGRAINES?
Being open to new experiences reduces the risk of migraines, research found in June 2017.
A preference for variety over routine prevents crippling headaches in depressed patients, a study finds.
Still, neuroticism — a personality trait associated with nervousness and irritability — increases the risk of migraines, the study adds.
Study author Dr. Máté Magyar from Semmelweis University in Budapest, said: ‘An open nature seems to protect against [migraine].
‘Our study results could help to gain a better understanding of the biopsychosocial background of migraine, and to find new strategies in migraine prevention and interventions. [migraine].’
The researchers analyzed the relationship 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 ranked according to their openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, friendliness and neuroticism.
A migraine is a moderate to severe headache that is felt as a throbbing pain on one side of the head.
However, in some people it can also lead to nausea, being sick and sensitivity to light and sound.
Migraines are a common health 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 experience painful and debilitating migraine headaches that can reduce their quality of life,” said study author Arne May
“People with migraines often complain of dizziness, balance problems and a misperception of their body’s place in space during migraines.”
This led to the virtual roller coaster study, which showed that some of these problems are not only magnified in people who experience migraines, but they are also associated with changes in different parts of the brain.
May and colleagues used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to create brain scans of each participant as they watched videos to experience the virtual roller coaster rides.
None of the volunteers suffered from migraines during the virtual rides.
After they finished watching videos of the virtual roller coasters, they completed a survey.
This asked them about their perceived levels of dizziness, motion sickness and other symptoms they experienced during the ‘ride’.
They found that 65 percent of people who regularly experienced migraines became dizzy during the “ride,” compared to 30 percent of people who did not have migraines.
On a motion sickness questionnaire, which scored symptom intensity on a scale of 1-180, people with a history of migraines had a mean score of 47 compared with a mean score of 24 for those without.
People with migraines also had symptoms for longer, averaging one minute and 19 seconds compared to an average of 27 seconds.
Based on the brain scans, researchers were able to identify changes in nerve cell activity based on blood flow to certain areas of the brain.
A group of 40 people, half of whom had regular migraines and the other half not, had their brains scanned while watching videos of a virtual roller coaster ride. stock image
People with migraines had increased activity in five brain areas, including two areas in the occipital gyrus, the brain’s visual processing area, and decreased activity in two other areas, including the middle frontal gyrus.
These brain changes correlated with migraine disability and motion sickness scores.
“Another part of the brain where we found pronounced nerve cell activity in people with migraines was in the pontine nuclei, which help regulate movement and other motor activity,” May said.
‘This increased activity may be related to abnormal transmission of visual, auditory and sensory information in the brain.
“Future research should now look at larger groups of people with migraines to see if our findings can be confirmed.”
The findings are published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Can CANNABIS be used to treat migraines? First trial to test THC and CBD as possible treatments for acute headache is underway
While one in five women and one in five men suffer from migraines, current treatments, including pain relievers and anti-disease tablets, remain ineffective for many patients.
Now scientists are testing whether cannabis can be used to treat migraines, in what is believed to be the first trial of its kind.
Researchers from the University of California, San Diego, are testing several compounds found in cannabis, including THC and CBD, on participants suffering from severe migraines.
The team hopes the trial’s findings could pave the way for a treatment for patients whose lives are regularly disrupted by migraines.
Migraines are a common condition that tends to start in early adulthood, although the cause remains unclear.
The NHS explained: ‘A migraine is usually a moderate or severe headache felt as a throbbing pain on one side of the head.
‘Many people also have symptoms such as being sick, being sick and an increased sensitivity to light or sound.’
Several treatment options are available, including pain relievers and antiemetics to help with the nausea.
However, these are not effective for many people, who are forced to deal with the painful episodes on a regular basis.
Now researchers in California have launched a small-scale trial to see if cannabis compounds could be effective at treating migraines.
dr. Nathaniel Schuster, who is leading the trial, said: “Many patients who suffer from migraines have experienced them for many years, but never discussed them with their doctor.
‘They are rather self-treating with different treatments, such as cannabis.
“Right now, when patients ask us if cannabis works for migraines, we don’t have any evidence-based data to answer that question.”
So far there are about 20 participants enrolled who experience migraines every month, are not regular cannabis users and are 21-65 years old.