Study finds men and women are affected differently by migraines

MigrainesMigraine sufferers understand the pounding head pain that often can only be lessened with darkness, no noise and sleep. Some people try natural remedies and others try prescriptions or alternative treatments. While many people get migraines, it turns out that people’s bodies react differently.

A recent study from Harvard researcher Nasim Maleki published in Brain, a Journal of Neurology, found that men and women suffer differently when it comes to migraines.

The results were presented at the 2013 International Headache Congress in Boston, and Maleki said that the posterior insula region of the brain in migraine sufferers does not thin with age.

According to Medical Daily, the insula region is thought to provide an interface between feelings, action and cognition but the posterior region may only be a part of the process.

For the study, researchers looked at brain scans of 92 female migraine sufferers. They had to have dealt with migraines for more than three years. The MRI scans were processed to enable the reconstruction of cortical surfaces and detect sub-millimeter differences in cortical thickness.

The results showed that cortical thinning by age occurred in healthy individuals and those with migraines didn’t show evidence of thinning in the posterior insula. The researchers concluded that migraine sufferers’ brains could be adapting in response to pain.

Researchers also looked to gender-based differences in migraines, which are twice as common in women than men. Maleki and her team looked at MRI scans to find differences in brain structure. They found that women has a thicker posterior insula and precuneus cortices compared to both men and healthy participants.

Additionally, when testing for participants’ reactions to pain, there was a difference in how men and women responded. In women, “these thicker areas talk to each other and work together to respond to pain” in a pattern not seen in the men,” Maleki said in Science Now.

“The brain of a female migraineur looks so unlike the brain of a male migraineur that we should think of migraines in men and women as different diseases altogether,” Maleki said in Smart News.

Treating migraines naturally
If people are suffering from migraines, whether they’re men or women, and they are looking for holistic remedies they can try Western Herbal and Nutrition’s Head-Aid to quickly ease the pain and symptoms associated with these headaches.

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