According to a new study by researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital,
people who suffer from migraines have certain differences in the structure of their brains as compared to those who do not suffer migraines.
Migraines are severely painful headaches that sometimes cause complications like nausea, vomiting and even photosensitivity as well as sensitivity to sound. Usually migraines are hereditary, but women are three times more likely to suffer migraines as compared to men.
In the current study researchers performed brain scans on 24 people who suffered migraines for almost two decades. All patients experienced at least four episodes per month. The brain scans of these people were compared with those of 12 healthy volunteers, who had not suffered migraines.
They found that an area of the brain called somatosensory cortex was 21 percent thicker in migraine sufferers. The somatosensory cortex is an area concerned with detecting pain, touch and temperature in the body.
“The more we understand about the pathophysiology of migraine, the better we will be able to design drugs that work. At the moment, there is no drug for prevention that works well,” said lead researcher Dr. Nouchine Hadjikhani of Massachusetts General Hospital.
Dr. Hadjikhani added that the study explained why people with migraines suffered from pain in other regions like the back or the jaw. The details of the study appear in the latest issue of the journal Neurology.