Oh, My Aching Head

For a change, I have some lunchtime news chum to share–all relating to migraine headaches:

  • Preventing Migraines. New guidelines have been issued regarding using drugs as migraine preventatives. To my eye, there’s not much new here, except perhaps some new drugs. I’ve known for a while that Topamax, Depakote, and propranolol can work as preventatives; I’ve avoided the first two because they can also slow down your thinking processes (Topamax is nicknamed Dopamax for a reason). Still, the list appears to contain some new recommendations. It doesn’t mention that muscle relaxants may also be useful. I know, with respect to migraines, I’m one of the lucky ones: I don’t get aura (only rarely), I don’t have light sensitivity, and I don’t have to go hide in a dark room (well, only very rarely). However, mine are hemispherical (just on one side) and frequent (about every 2-3 weeks).
  • Brain Freeze. An interesting study has shown a connection between brain freeze and migraines. Brain freeze occurs as the blood vessels going to the brain dilate and constrict in order to prevent cold blood from going to the brain; this sensitivity to this is the reason that migraine sufferers are more likely to get brain freeze.
  • Migraines and Racism. Here’s another interesting study. As I noted above, one of the migraine preventatives is propranolol (it is also a common treatment for high blood pressure). A recent study has shown that people who take propranolol are less likely to be racist. A new Oxford University research study found that Propranolol, which works to combat high blood pressure, anxiety, migraines, and a number of heart ailments, affects the same part of the central nervous system that regulates subconscious attitudes on race.

Music: Presumed Innocent (Marcia Ball): You Make Me Happy