Dr. Peter Goadsby, professor of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco, says there is evidence that between migraine attacks, the brains of migraineurs function differently than that of other people’s brains.

Studies have shown that migraine-affected brains have a decreased ability to “habituate,” or get used to a stimulus. If you expose a “normal” person’s brain to a constantly flashing light, then measure the signals in his or her brain, the signals will get smaller with time as the brain gets used to the light. However, if you expose a person with migraine to a flashing light, the signal will grow larger with time.

“That’s why migraineurs notice small things that will irritate them, like a clock ticking in the background,” says Goadsby. “A migraineur gets irritated by things because he or she can’t get rid of them easily. A person that’s not migrainous will just ignore things. The difference is quite stunning.”

Goadsby emphasizes that awareness can help migraineurs stem attacks. “Try to understand your disorder so that you get to be in the driver’s seat rather than the attack. Don’t let migraine be your lifestyle.”

Medication, keeping consistent sleeping and waking times, regular meals, moderate caffeine intake and routine exercise can all play a part in helping to minimize the headaches…….   latimeshealth.com     4/2/14

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