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Articles about migraine

Original articles about important findings in migraine by leading neurologists and Alec Mian PhD, founder and CEO of Curelator Inc.
Alcohol: myth, magic and migraine (part 3)
Effects of alcohol on migraine
The relationship between alcohol and headache is complex. As discussed above, alcohol can cause headaches as part of post intoxication syndrome of a hangover. Typically occurring within several hours of the cessation of drinking, hangovers generally consist of nausea, abdominal discomfort, headache and psychological symptoms. Frequent hangovers generally lead to worsening social, educational and employment functioning. The treatment of hangovers is fraught with mythology. It seems that everyone has a recommendation: from consumption of raw eggs, fat heavy foods, to coffee and more alcohol. There is little evidence supporting any of these interventions beyond the general recommendations of avoiding alcohol. Alcohol can also enact its effect on headache in other ways. Some migraine sufferers have found alcohol to be a direct trigger for their events, without waiting for the withdrawal period. Others have speculated that “darker alcohols” including red wine and certain distilled spirits may have a greater chance of inducing a migraine. But, the fact is that all alcohol has the risk of acting as a trigger. To date, no evidence has demonstrated that the tannins, sulfates or sulfites in commercial alcohol has any greater risk of being a migraine inducer.
Alcohol: myth, magic and migraine (part 2)
The evolution of humans’ response to alcohol and why that affects migraines
Genetics may explain why alcohol appears to be a migraine trigger in some individuals and a protector in others. Even though humans can now metabolize alcohol, the trait is certainly not universal in the animal kingdom, even small amounts are toxic to man’s best friends, cats and dogs. When and how did humans acquire the ability to metabolize alcohol? Around 10 million years ago an amazing thing happened in our evolution. The seminal act occurred when our primate ancestral species moved from being primarily arboreal (tree-dwelling) to terrestrial.
Alcohol: myth, magic and migraine (part 1)
We are not always objective when it comes to alcohol
No other fluid in human society has inspired such a range of emotions and misbeliefs as alcohol - from mystical affection to outright vilification and prohibition. How does alcohol really affect humans and how can it act as a migraine trigger in certain individuals and a protector in others? In the joint studies Curelator Headache conducted with The Migraine Trust and National Headache Foundation, the data revealed that alcohol's impact varied greatly depending on the individual. In this three-part article, we peel away myths and misconceptions that have grown up around alcohol, and explore a compelling answer to this question that resides in the genetic makeup of each individual, which affects their ability to metabolize alcohol.
Confabulation, card tricks and confirming your migraine triggers (part 2)
Why is it so hard to identify your migraine triggers?
In the first part of this article, we reviewed data from an ongoing Curelator Headache study. It includes hundreds of migraineurs who believed they knew their triggers before they used Curelator Headache. After our analytical engine applied a statistical analysis (based on three months of their daily data), we concluded that the accuracy of these users’ trigger identification was less than 20%. In this second part of the article, we offer some insight into the difficulty of self-determining migraine triggers. Other than stress and sleep quality (fatigue), it can be exceedingly difficult to self-identify triggers. The first point is to consider the ‘dose’ or ‘potency’ of a trigger. Many factors would trigger headaches in virtually anyone if the ‘dose’ was extreme enough, for example, noise that was extremely loud and went on for a long time, or stress experienced at a high level again over a significant period.
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