Migraine headaches linked to body clock, study finds

Credit: Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels

Cluster headaches and migraine are two common types of headaches that can be incredibly debilitating for those who experience them.

While the exact causes of these headaches are not entirely understood, recent research has shed light on the connection between these headaches and the circadian system, which regulates body processes.

A recent meta-analysis from the University of Texas analyzed all available studies on cluster headaches and migraine that included circadian features.

The meta-analysis looked at the timing of headaches during the day and year, genes associated with the circadian clock, and hormones related to the circadian system.

The findings of the study showed that both cluster headaches and migraine are highly circadian at multiple levels, with cluster headaches being especially so.

For example, the study found that 71% of people with cluster headaches had a circadian pattern of headache attacks, with attacks peaking in the late hours of the night to early morning. People with cluster headaches also had higher cortisol levels and lower melatonin levels than people without the condition.

Similarly, the study found a circadian pattern of attacks in 50% of people with migraine, with a broad peak during the day and a low point during the night.

People with migraine had lower levels of melatonin in their urine than people without migraine, and melatonin levels were lower during a migraine attack.

The study suggests that both of these headache disorders are highly circadian at multiple levels, which reinforces the importance of the hypothalamus, the area of the brain that houses the primary biological clock, and its role in cluster headaches and migraine.

The study also raises questions about the genetics of triggers such as sleep changes that are known to trigger migraine and are cues for the body’s circadian rhythm.

The results of the study could potentially lead to the development of new treatments for headache disorders that are based on the circadian rhythm.

For example, taking medications at certain times of the day or using treatments that cause circadian changes could be used to help prevent and manage headaches.

However, a limitation of the study was the lack of information on factors that could influence the circadian cycle, such as medications, other disorders, and night shift work.

Overall, the study provides valuable insight into the relationship between cluster headaches, migraine, and the circadian system.

It highlights the potential for new treatments and further research in this area, which could lead to significant improvements in the lives of those who experience these debilitating headaches.

By understanding the complex relationship between headaches and the circadian system, researchers can develop more effective treatments that are tailored to the individual needs of each patient.

Migraines can be a debilitating condition that can significantly impact a person’s quality of life.

While there is no cure for migraines, there are several ways to manage the symptoms and prevent future attacks. Here are some tips for managing migraines:

Identify your triggers: Migraines can be triggered by a variety of factors, such as stress, certain foods, and changes in sleep patterns. Identifying your triggers can help you avoid them and prevent future attacks.

Manage stress: Stress is a common trigger for migraines. Practicing stress-reducing techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga, can help manage stress and reduce the likelihood of a migraine attack.

Maintain a regular sleep schedule: Changes in sleep patterns can trigger migraines. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule can help prevent attacks.

Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can help reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines. However, it’s important to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity to avoid triggering a migraine.

Stay hydrated: Dehydration is a common trigger for migraines. It’s important to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated.

Avoid trigger foods: Certain foods, such as chocolate, caffeine, and processed foods, can trigger migraines. Avoiding these trigger foods can help prevent future attacks.

If you care about pain, please read studies that tart cherry could help reduce inflammation, and five ways to avoid pain and injury when starting a new exercise regime.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about plant nutrient that could help reduce high blood pressure, and these high blood pressure drugs may harm your sleep.

The study was conducted by Mark Joseph Burish et al and published in Neurology.

Copyright © 2023 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.