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What Does The Brain Look Like During A Migraine

Can Cluster Headaches Be Prevented

Migraine Attack – Medical Animation

Since cluster headache episodes may be spaced years apart, and since the first headache of a new cluster episode can’t be predicted, daily medication may not be warranted.

Lifestyle changes may help minimize the risk of a cluster headache flare. Stopping smoking and minimizing alcohol may prevent future episodes of cluster headache.

What Is Thyroid Brain Fog

According to the National Academy of Hypothyroidism, the thyroid is a small gland located in the front of the neck. It controls the bodys production, regulation, and distribution of thyroid hormones, which regulate the bodys metabolic rate as well as heart and digestive function, muscle control, brain development, mood, and bone maintenance. In other words, your thyroid influences nearly every function within your body.

Brain fog and thyroid problems often go hand in hand because thyroid function has a strong connection with metabolism. When your metabolism fluctuates, you may feel slow, lethargic, and lacking in energy. When your energy level drops below a certain point, your brain is one of the first organs to feel the adverse effects. People with hypothyroidism often experience hypothyroid brain fog.

ATP is a molecule that plays a key role in metabolism, explains Barry Sears, PhD, president of the Inflammation Research Foundation. In hypothyroidism, ATP production is decreased. Because the brain is the highest energy consumer per gram of weight in the body, it is most affected by an overall decrease in ATP production.

What Are The Symptoms Of Migraines

The primary symptom of migraine is a headache. Pain is sometimes described as pounding or throbbing. It can begin as a dull ache that develops into pulsing pain that is mild, moderate or severe. If left untreated, your headache pain will become moderate to severe. Pain can shift from one side of your head to the other, or it can affect the front of your head, the back of your head or feel like its affecting your whole head. Some people feel pain around their eye or temple, and sometimes in their face, sinuses, jaw or neck.

Other symptoms of migraine headaches include:

  • Sensitivity to light, noise and odors.
  • Nausea and vomiting, upset stomach and abdominal pain.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Feeling very warm or cold .
  • Pale skin color .
  • Euphoric mood.

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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Tension Headaches

Common signs and symptoms of tension headaches include:

  • Pain that begins in the back of the head and upper neck and is often described as a band-like tightness or pressure. It may spread to encircle the head.
  • The most intense pressure may be felt at the temples or over the eyebrows where the temporalis and frontal muscles are located.
  • The pain may vary in intensity but usually is not disabling, meaning that the sufferer may continue with daily activities. The pain usually is bilateral .
  • The pain is not associated with an aura , nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light and sound.
  • The pain occurs sporadically but can occur frequently and even daily in some people.
  • The pain allows most people to function normally, despite the headache.

It Begins To Be Such Intense Pain That I Feel Nauseous Mary 26


I tend to get them most often at the end of the day. It starts off with light pain and pressure, always in the front of my head, behind my forehead. As the pain increases, typically over the course of 30 to 45 minutes, it begins to be such intense pain that I feel nauseous. Personally, the pain comes in waves with 30 second intervals it will be intense pain for 30 seconds, then light pain for 30, and back to full intensity.

One time, I had a migraine at the end of the day in college and when I got home, the pain was coming in such intense waves that I could barely get out of bed. When I stood, the rush of standing up caused so much pain that I threw up. I got back into bed and made my boyfriend push on my forehead because, for some reason, the pressure he applied to my forehead would slightly release the pain. As I tried to fall asleep, I was crying from being in so much pain. I woke multiple times in the night, each time with fewer migraine symptoms, and then had no pain by morning.

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How Are Secondary Headaches Diagnosed

If there is time, the diagnosis of secondary headache begins with a complete patient history followed by a physical examination and laboratory and radiology tests as appropriate.

However, some patients present in crisis with a decreased level of consciousness or unstable vital signs due to the underlying cause of the headache. In these situations, the health care professional may decide to treat a specific cause without waiting for tests to confirm the diagnosis.

For example, a patient with headache, fever, stiff neck, and confusion may have meningitis. Since meningitis can be rapidly fatal, antibiotic therapy may be started before blood tests and a lumbar puncture are performed to confirm the diagnosis. It may be that another diagnosis ultimately is found, for example, a brain tumor or subarachnoid hemorrhage, but the benefit of early antibiotics outweighs the risk of not giving them promptly.

The Mechanism Of Migraine

What is taking place physiologically as a migraine headache happens? It appears the origin of a migraine headache is in the brain stem. The brain stem is a small bit above the spinal cord, but underneath the cortex of the brain. The migraine control center in the brain stem emits signals to the blood vessels lining the brain, requesting these blood vessels to dilate and expand. In the process, pain signals are sent going back to the control center.

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Ways Migraine Dumbs You Down And Scrambles Your Thoughts

Headache pain, like all pain, inhibits work. But pain like this, felt at the core of one’s being, in the brain, carries an added challenge in interfering with how you think,” author and headache warrior Paula Kamen writes in her hilarious memoir, All in My Head. From brain fog to memory loss, migraines can have a huge impact on the speed and grace of your thoughts.

As if the pounding temples, nauseous stomach, and overly sensitive sight were bad enough, research suggests that migraines change your cognitive functioning. Even worse, some of the brain changes persist between migraine attacks

From the beginning stages to the dreaded migraine hangover, migraines garble thoughts in frustrating – and sometimes entertaining- ways.

What Happens In Your Brain During A Migraine

Migraine Treatment Explained

    Scientists used to think migraines were caused by blood vessels on the surface of your brain dilating and constricting, leading to the pulse of pain people often experienced. They saw migraines as being primarily a vascular disorder. Thats changed. We now know that these changes are the end result of a more complex nerve pathway in the brain.

    Today, researchers believe migraines are a neurological disorder thats largely genetically based. They still dont understand everything that happens during a migraine, such as why certain symptoms occurbut they are closer to untangling the mystery of the migraine.

    Heres what researchers believe happens inside your brain to cause the symptoms you are experiencing.

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    A Migraine Attack Is Triggered

    There is a lot of evidence that migraine attacks are triggered when the concentration of K+ in the ECF becomes too high. This corresponds to the situation where the dancer has dropped so many marbles around her feet that she ends up slipping on one of them. This increase in K+ in the ECF can happen for a number of reasons:

    • If the Na+/K+-pumps are not being supplied with enough oxygen and/or blood sugar, K+ cannot be pumped out of the ECF fast enough and the concentration of K+ in the ECF will increase . This can happen if the arteries supplying this part of the brain are very contracted so that too little blood flow is coming through, starving the Na+/K+-pumps of the oxygen and blood sugar that is normally being delivered in sufficient amounts by the blood. If it is too long since youve eaten a meal, your blood sugar may also be so low that the Na+/K+-pumps are not getting the energy they need to remove K+ from the ECF at a fast enough rate.
    • If the nerve cells have been firing at a very high frequency for a very long time, K+ in the ECF will increase . This can happen when you have been very stressed for a long time or have not had enough sleep.
    • If too little K+ is being removed by the blood flow that normally helps sweep up some of the excess K+ in the ECF. This happens if the blood flow to that part of the brain is insufficient.

    Brain Scans Show Dopamine Levels Fall During Migraine Attacks

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    ANN ARBORUsing PET scans of the brain, University of Michigan researchers showed that dopamine falls and fluctuates at different times during a migraine headache.

    This could help scientists better understand dopamine-based therapies for migraines as well as a patients behavior during an attack.

    The connection between dopamine and migraines has long been a poorly understood therapeutic and research area, says Alex DaSilva, assistant professor at the U-M School of Dentistry and Center for Human Growth and Development at the University of Michigan.

    Outfitted with a joystick and special glasses, Assistant Professor Alex DaSilva examines 3D images of the brain to better understand brain chemical fluctuations during a migraine headache. DaSilva is in the Michigan Immersive Digital Experience Nexus, or MIDEN, on North Campus. Images credit: Scott Soderberg, Michigan Photography

    Dopaminesometimes called the brains feel-good neurotransmitterhelps regulate emotion, motivation and sensory perception.

    Physicians and emergency rooms often give migraine patients dopamine antagonists, drugs that block overactive dopamine receptors, to level off wild dopamine fluctuations and ease migraine attacks.

    When migraine patients were between headaches, their dopamine levels were as stable and even as the healthy patients, DaSilva said. But during an attack, the migraine patients dopamine levels fell significantly.

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    The Development Of White Matter Lesions And Infarct

    The idea sounds pretty terrifying, and the truth is, scientists aren’t exactly sure just what’s going on in the brains of migraine sufferers and whether or not any of the observed changes do have long-term or detrimental effects. They do know, though, that migraines seem to cause the development of lesions in the brain’s white matter.

    White matter is the part of the brain that enables the different parts to communicate with each other, and MRI scans of people who suffer from migraines tend to show the development of what’s technically called white matter hyperintensities, or WMH. The more often migraines occur, the more completely they develop, and they also seem to be more common in those that experience auras with their headaches. That being said, the development of brain lesions might seem like a terrifying thing, but medical professionals say that it’s perfectly normal. There are no symptoms or issues associated with WMHs, and migraines aren’t the only things that cause them, either. Alzheimer’s patients also show the development of WMH and, in some cases, it’s simply linked with age.

    What Does A Throat Cancer Lump Feel Like

    Insidious Living: February 2006

    Throat cancer is a condition that is characterized by the development of malignant tumors in the throat , voice box or tonsils. In most cases, throat cancer originates in the flat cells that line the inside of the throat, a muscular tube that extends from the nose to the bottom of the neck.

    The symptoms of throat cancer can vary based on its specific location. Sometimes, it can cause a palpable lump to form in the neck, although this symptom is not always present. Its also important to note that neck lumps are often associated with upper respiratory infections, such as strep throat, and do not always indicate the presence of cancer. These lumps are actually lymph nodes that have become temporarily enlarged as they fight off infection. After the infection clears, the lymph nodes return to their normal size and the lumps go away. On the other hand, a lump that occurs without an infection or persists long after an infection resolves may be a sign of throat cancer.

    In addition to a lump, swelling or thickness in the neck, some other warning signs and symptoms of throat cancer include:

    • Swallowing difficulties

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    A Chain Reaction Begins

    When the CSD wave arrives at a nerve cell, its normal Na+ and K+ concentration differences break down, which again makes CSD spread further.

    The next step of this vicious cycle happens, when enough K+ has entered the ECF around a nerve cell. The excess K+ acts as a key which unlocks a specific type of channel in the wall of the nerve cell:

    When this large number of Na+ molecules enter the molecule it becomes depolarized , meaning that it loses its normal battery charge and cannot work properly again before it has been recharged by its Na+/K+-pumps.

    Importantly, the opening of the NMDA channels also allows even more K+ to escape into the ECF :

    This chain reaction spreads from nerve cell to nerve cell, opening NMDA channels, strongly depolarizing each cell in turn and overturning the normal concentrations of Na+ and K+. It is this late part of the CSD chain reaction which in some migraine patients is experienced as a migraine aura, because of the way that CSD disrupts the cells normal function.

    I Thought I Was Having A Stroke Or Some Kind Of Brain Failure Because My Vision Went Out In My Right Eye Dominique 28

    I didn’t know the difference between a headache and a migraine until I was older. They were just bad headaches to me. It wasn’t until college that I got my first aura migraine, which was the scariest symptom ever. I thought I was having a stroke or some kind of brain failure because my vision went out in my right eye.

    so hard to describe sometimes they feel like a splitting sensation through my eye and temple, extending toward the back of my head. Sometimes it’s localized to one side other times it’s the full head. Its such a wild thing to have this pain with no trauma, because it feels like an injury. Typically for me it’s either behind my eyes, in my temples, or in the back of my skull .

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    Postdrome: The Migraine Hangover

    Of course, the joy of a migraine attack doesn’t end once the worse of it is over. Oh no, that would be way too easy. Instead, we are left with a head full of scrambled eggs and a body that feels like it got hit by a freight train. After the worse of the migraine is over, the postdrome stage begins – aka the migraine hangover.

    Just like an alcohol hangover, a migraine hangover makes you feel downright awful all over. Your head still kinda hurts, your stomach is off, your body aches, and your brain really does not want to work correctly. Our Facebook community sounds off on their experiences with the migraine hangover:

    The symptoms of Migraine are so far-reaching and can last so long, that Migraine sometimes feels like the crummy gift that keeps on giving. Understanding that the memory loss and brain fog that we experience during an attack is not permanent helps to deal with aggravating migraine brain. Stay tuned for an upcoming article about how migraines may actually be making our brains stronger and better at memory – at least when we don’t have a migraine.

    So if you find yourself temporarily forgetting your dog’s name or putting your pants on backward, don’t despair! There is hope for us yet.

    The Significance Of Brain Lesions

    What Really Causes a Migraine?

    We don’t really know what the significance of these brain lesions is yet. A number of studies have examined older people who do not have migraines but have white matter hyperintensities, and these lesions are associated with an increased risk of stroke, dementia, and thinking problems. Since migraine is associated with stroke, it’s possible that lesions in migraineurs could be an indication of a higher risk of stroke.

    A 2012 study found that while female migraineurs had a higher incidence of white matter hyperintensities over a period of nine years compared to a control group, their cognitive functioning stayed the same. This indicates that these brain lesions may, in fact, mean nothing health-wise, which is reassuring news.

    That said, if migraines and their associated brain lesions are found to have long-term neurological effects, this may alter the way neurologists treat episodic migraines. For example, doctors may consider migraine preventive medication for episodic migraines in certain people who are at high risk for developing brain lesions or who already have them.

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    What Are Ocular Migraines

    Ocular migraines are a larger group of visual aura type migraines.

    They include many different types of migraines but all have the visual disturbance such as:

    • Blind spots

    There are two main types of ocular migraines:

    Retinal migraine

    Is described by the american migraine foundation as visual symptoms occurring in only one eye before or during a migraine. This type of migraine is more serious, may lead to permanent vision loss and needs to be brought up with your doctor immediately as it may be something more serious.

    Migraine with aura

    The most common presentation of migraine with aura is a visual disturbance that slowly increases, peaks and then disappears resulting in a headache. But not all migraines with aura are visual.

    Ocular migraines may or may not come with head pain but are most commonly found with it.

    Its always important to bring any of these symptoms up with your doctor to be sure its a migraine and not something more serious.

    Other common names for ocular migraines are:

  • Ophthalmic migraines
  • Below is a video of a type of ocular migraine.


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