What Causes A Migraine
The cause of migraine headaches is complicated and not fully understood. When you have a headache its because specific nerves in your blood vessels send pain signals to your brain. This releases inflammatory substances into the nerves and blood vessels of your head. Its unclear why your nerves do that.
What Is The Prognosis For People With Migraines
Migraines are unique to each individual. Likewise, how migraines are managed is also unique. The best outcomes are usually achieved by learning and avoiding personal migraine triggers, managing symptoms, practicing preventive methods, following the advice of your healthcare provider and reporting any significant changes as soon as they occur.
Does Patent Foramen Ovale Run In Families & Does A Pfo Cause Fatigue
Several studies show PFO is a family trait and seems to run in families.2
Most of the time patent foramen ovale does not cause symptoms however when there is a stroke there can be disruption in the blood transmission and cause symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, or cardiac rhythm abnormalities.3,4
Don’t Miss: List Of Prescription Drugs For Migraines
Whats A Migraine Journal
- Keeping a migraine journal is not only beneficial to you, but it helps your healthcare provider with the diagnosis process. Your journal should be detailed and updated as much as possible before, during and after a migraine attack. Consider keeping track of the following:
- The date and time of when the migraine began specifically when the prodrome started, if youre able to tell its happening. Track time passing. When did the aura phase begin? The headache? The postdrome? Do your best to tell what stage youre in and how long it lasts. If theres a pattern, that may help you anticipate what will happen in the future.
- What are your symptoms? Be specific.
- Note how many hours of sleep you got the night before it happened and your stress level. Whats causing your stress?
- Note the weather.
- Log your food and water intake. Did you eat something that triggered the migraine? Did you miss a meal?
- Describe the type of pain and rate it on a one to 10 scale with 10 being the worst pain youve ever experienced.
- Where is the pain located? One side of your head? Your jaw? Your eye?
- List all of the medications you took. This includes any daily prescriptions, any supplements and any pain medication you took.
- How did you try to treat your migraine, and did it work? What medicine did you take, at what dosage, at what time?
- Consider other triggers. Maybe you played basketball in the sunlight? Maybe you watched a movie that had flashing lights? If youre a woman, are you on your period?
What Can I Do To Prevent Migraines
One of the best ways to prevent migraines is to try to avoid the things that might trigger your attacks. Most people benefit from trying to get stable sleep, eating regular meals, drinking plenty of fluids to keep hydrated, and trying to manage stress. Taking regular exercise may also help prevent migraines since it helps with breathing, improving blood sugar balance and maintaining general wellbeing. Although you should take care not to engage in very strenuous activity that your body is not used to as this can sometimes act as a migraine trigger.
Keeping a diary of your migraines can be a useful way to record when and where you experience attacks, check for any patterns, and try to identify your triggers. Take the diary when you see your GP so you can communicate your symptoms with them and they can find the best way to help you.
Don’t Miss: What Is Migraine Weather
Episodic Ataxia 2 And Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 6 Due To Mutations In Cacna1a
In addition to FHM1, heterozygous mutations within CACNA1A can cause two other neurological disorders, episodic ataxia type 2 and spinocerebellar ataxia type 6 . EA2 is characterized by paroxysmal attacks of ataxia, vertigo, and nausea, while SCA6 is typified by adult-onset, slowly progressive cerebellar ataxia, dysarthria, and nystagmus. There can be overlapping clinical features between the three allelic disorders , e.g. ~â50% EA2 patients also suffer migraine , and episodic headaches and nausea are also common in SCA6 . EA2 mutations can be missense, truncating or cause aberrant splicing of CACNA1A . However, unlike FHM mutations, they are usually loss-of-function and result in decreased Ca2+ influx . SCA6 mutations are usually small expansions of a polyglutamine repeat in the COOH tail of CACNA1A which leads to accumulation of mutant Cav2.1 channels and selective degeneration of cerebellar Purkinje cells due to a toxic gain-of-function effect .
Family History And Migraines An Introduction
Often when a person has migraines, another person in their family also suffers from migraines. Therefore most migraine headaches doctors and researchers agree that susceptibility to migraines tend to run in families. Several small studies have attempted to find genes that cause migraines, however, that research is still in its early stages. Because there are no specific tests to diagnose migraines, researchers have difficulty diagnosing and classifying different types of migraines to study.
Don’t Miss: Migraine Medication Starts With S
Early Research On Genetics And Hereditary Migraines
Migraines may occur more often in certain families, but because migraine symptoms and migraine triggers vary greatly between individuals, tracking the specific genetics of this condition is difficult.
Early research and epidemiology studies have suggested that aura migraines and migraines without aura each have their own hereditary characteristics.3 For example, an early population-based study found that first-degree relatives of migraine without aura sufferers had a 1.9 times greater risk of developing the condition themselves and a 1.4 greater risk of aura migraine. However, first-degree relatives of aura migraine sufferers had nearly four times the risk of experiencing aura migraines themselves. Conversely, first-degree relatives of those who had no migraines had no increased risk of migraine either with or without aura.5
Remember That Some Factors Are Outside Of Your Control
While some things can help you prevent headache pain, its important to note that not every headache can be linked to lifestyle or environmental factors.
Sometimes there are no notable triggers to headaches, Begeti said. A big part of why people get headaches is due to genetics, and I see headaches that run in families.
Headache pain can range from mild to debilitating. Trying neurologist-approved strategies until you find what specifically works for you may help to alleviate your pain in the long run. Establishing a unique, at-home routine is vital to treating these conditions effectively.
Its important to listen to your body. I find that a headache may resolve if I do that and it certainly prevents it from getting worse, Begeti said.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.
Don’t Miss: Comorbid Headaches
Migraine And Circadian Rhythms
Environmental factors such as sleep and stress have been cited as leading triggers for migraine attacks., This can be attributed to the fact that there are several hormones and neurotransmitters that play a role in both sleep disruption and migraine there is evidence to show that dopamine, serotonin, gamma-aminobutyric acid and gonadotropin-releasing hormone changes are involved in both disorders. There are also studies showing that migraine and sleep disorders tend to co-segregate within family pedigrees., Brennan et al showed that a mutation in CSNK1D, which has been shown to cause familial advanced sleep phase syndrome, was found in two large independent migraine pedigrees. The study also demonstrated that mice with a transgene CKI-T44A mutation display increased sensitisation to nitroglycerin infusions, particularly in female mice. In addition, they showed that the CKI-T44A mice have reduced thresholds for cortical spreading depression compared to the wild type.
Treating And Preventing Migraines
The aims of treatment are to prevent them, if possible, and ease the symptoms when they do occur.
Once you’ve got a migraine, the only thing you want is for the pain to stop. Start treatment as soon as you feel the migraine pain whether its over-the-counter medication like Advil Liqui-Gels, for mild to moderate pain, or something your doctor prescribes.
You may be able to reduce your chances of suffering from a migraine attack by knowing your potential migraine triggers. A good place to begin is by keeping a headache diary Recording lifestyle factors such as what you eat, how much sleep you get, exercise routines, and stress levels along with when your headaches start and the type of pain you experience can help you monitor these patterns. That way you will be able to make lifestyle changes to reduce the number of migraines you get.
Also Check: Naproxen For Migraines
Migraine Phases And Pathophysiology
Activation of the trigeminovascular system
Migraine is thought to be a complex brain network disorder that occurs when the brain loses control of its homeostasis, leading to the activation of the trigeminovascular system and a cascade of events . Signals from activated nociceptors innervating the cranial blood vessels are transmitted to the trigeminal bipolar neurons, and further relayed to thalamic and cortical areas . The signal from the perivascular neurons is transmitted by endogenous mediators, including the vasoactive neuropeptides calcitonin gene-related peptide , substance P, neurokinin A, and pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide , as well as release of vasoactive inflammatory mediators such as nitric oxide, coincident with inflammation in the meninges . Sensitization of pain relevant brainstem regions, including peripheral trigeminovascular neurons to dural stimuli, is thought to produce the characteristic sensation of throbbing pain in migraine .
Migraine progression and mechanisms
Brain alterations in migraine
Do Gene Variations Link To Migraine
Yep. It seems that aside from direct genetic links, migraine could also run in families through polygenic inheritance.
If a characteristic or health problem is polygenic, it means that various genes collectively impact the likelihood of someone having that characteristic. These genes have tiny genetic variations called single-nucleotide polymorphisms.
Each genetic variant may have just a teeny effect on an individual, but all together these variations can build up to influence the trait or condition someone inherits.
Don’t Miss: Natural Remedies For Vestibular Migraines
What Causes Vestibular Migraine
Vestibular migraines, like other migraine syndromes, tend to run in families. Although science has not completely clarified the complex mechanisms of migraine, it is known that women tend to suffer more from the condition than men, and symptoms may get worse around menstruation.
In addition, people vulnerable to vestibular migraines can experience episodes after migraine triggers including altered sleep patterns, MSG, menstrual cycle and food such as chocolate, ripened or aged cheese and red wine.
Are Migraines Hereditary
Migraines tend to run in families. As many as four out of five people with migraines have a family history. If one parent has a history of migraines, their child has a 50% chance of having them. If both parents have a history of migraines, the risk jumps to 75%. Again, up to 80% of people with migraines have a first-degree relative with the disease.
Recommended Reading: Migraine Medicine Side Effects
What Is A Migraine
Migraine is a very common, but very particular, type of headache. Most people who have migraine experience repeated attacks of headaches that occur over many years. The typical migraine headache is throbbing or pulsating, and often is associated with nausea and changes in vision. While many migraine headaches are severe, not all severe headaches are migraines, and some episodes can be quite mild.
Up to 20% of people in the United States will experience migraine headaches at some point in life. In about half of those, migraine headaches first appear during childhood or adolescence. Two-thirds of people who get migraines are women, probably because of the influence of hormones. Migraines also tend to run in families.
Despite years of research, scientists do not know exactly why migraines occur. The pain of migraines is associated with swelling in blood vessels and irritation of nerves that surround the brain. But most experts don’t think that this is the direct cause of migraines.
The brain doesn’t have pain receptors. But it processes pain signals from other parts of the body. It’s the pain processing networks, or centers, in the brain that are overly reactive or dysfunctional in migraine.
The brain chemical serotonin may play an important role in this process as it does in other conditions, including depression and eating disorders.
Can Migraine Be Genetic
Your DNA, which contains your genes, is packaged into 23 pairs of chromosomes. You inherit one set of chromosomes from your mother and the other from your father.
A gene is a portion of DNA that provides information on how to make various proteins in your body.
Sometimes genes can undergo changes, and these changes may cause or predispose a person to a certain health condition. These gene changes can potentially be passed down from parent to child.
Genetic changes or variations have been linked to migraine. In fact, its estimated that more than half of people who have migraine have at least one other family member who also has the condition.
Lets take a deeper dive into what researchers are learning about genetics and migraine.
Read Also: Migraine Goes Away After Vomiting
Does Pfo Cause Fatigue
PFO in most patients do not produce symptoms nor disrupt heart functions. So, people can carry out all their daily chores normally however due to its genetic characteristics it inherits certain traits along with syndromes such as fatigue, shortness of breath, or cardiac rhythm abnormalities.
This is because when the mitochondria are slow the heartbeat is more irregular and can result in the hole between the right and the left atria which should have closed when the infant takes its first breath at the time of birth. When there is an opening in the foramen ovale the blood bypasses the lungs and doesnt pick oxygen as it should often leading to the amplifying problem.
As the oxygen levels go low it will result in acute fatigue or even loss of consciousness. This has been noticed in patients with chronic fatigue disorder and clinical studies have proved that 90% of patent foramen ovale patients suffer fatigue. Although these studies dont provide 100% reliability on their results yet 100 % of chronic fatigue syndrome patients have PFO. 3,4
Patent foramen ovale is an abnormality in the normal fetal development that is noticed in 25 % of the population. PFO is a canal that allows the flow of blood from venous to arteriosus circulation through the atria. The condition is often associated with cryptogenic attacks, ischemic heart strokes, visual auras, and other medical complications.
What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
- Will my child grow out of their migraines?
- What medications do you recommend for me?
- What should I change about my lifestyle to prevent my migraine headaches?
- Should I get tested?
- What type of migraine do I have?
- What can my friends and family do to help?
- Are my migraines considered chronic?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Migraine headaches can be devastating and make it impossible to go to work, school or experience other daily activities. Fortunately, there are some ways to possibly prevent a migraine and other ways to help you manage and endure the symptoms. Work with your healthcare provider to keep migraines from ruling your life.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/03/2021.
Don’t Miss: Migraine Pills That Cause Weight Loss
Fhm3 Due To Mutations In Scn1a
SCN1A was identified as a third causative gene for FHM in 2005 . FHM3 is rarer than FHM1 and 2 . SCN1A encodes the Î±1 subunit of the neuronal voltage-gated sodium channel Nav1.1, which mediates the voltage-dependent sodium ion permeability of excitable membranes of the CNS . SCN1A is commonly mutated in epilepsy syndromes with hundreds of heterozygous truncating and missense mutations reported . Eleven FHM3 SCN1A mutations have been described to date, and are usually inherited in an autosomal dominant manner . Mutations have been identified in both pure FHM families, and also in those with FHM and additional neurological disorders, including generalised tonic-clonic epilepsy, elicited repetitive transient daily blindness and childhood epilepsy .
Sporadic hemiplegic migraine
Hemiplegic migraine and disorders with overlapping symptoms caused by mutations in other genes
Understanding The Genetic Links
If a person knows about their genetic link to migraine, it can help them get a diagnosis and receive treatment quickly. If a person knows they have a history of migraine, they can also help family members to get the correct diagnosis.
Family members can help each other:
- figure out migraine triggers and symptoms
- work out which treatment option works best
- determine whether headache patterns have changed throughout their lives
- figure out when migraine episodes may start occurring
Don’t Miss: Rx For Headaches
What Are Some Migraine Risk Factors And Triggers
Some things make you more likely to get migraine headaches . Other things may bring on a migraine .
Common migraine risk factors include the following:
- Family history: You are much more likely to have migraines if one or both of your parents had migraines.
- Sex: Women are more likely than men to have migraines.
- Age: Most people have their first migraine during adolescence, but migraines can start at any age, usually before age 40.
Common migraine triggers include the following:
- Food and drink: Certain food and drink may cause migraines. Dehydration and dieting or skipping meals may also trigger migraines.
- Hormone changes: Women may experience migraines related to their menstrual cycles, to menopause, or to using hormonal birth control or hormone replacement therapy.
- Stress: Stress may trigger migraines. Stress includes feeling overwhelmed at home or work, but your body can also be stressed if you exercise too much or dont get enough sleep.
- Senses: Loud sounds, bright lights , or strong smells may trigger migraines.
- Medicines: Certain medicines may trigger migraines. If you think your migraines might be related to your medicine, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may be able to prescribe a different medicine.
- Illness: Infections, such as the cold or the flu, may trigger migraines, especially in children.
Foods that may trigger migraines:
- aged, canned, cured, or processed meat
- aged cheese
- soy sauce