Migraines in Depth

The word migraine originates from the word hemikranion, which is a Greek word meaning pain affecting one side of the head. Migraines are classified as a neurological disease, the most common symptoms of this disease is intense and sometimes disabling headaches. Migraines are also the most common type of vascular headache. These headaches are usually characterized by a severe pain in one or both sides within the head, sometimes during a migraine an upset stomach may occur, also hypersensitivity to light and or sound.

Scientists have done many researches on migraine and are undecided about the exact cause of migraine headaches. Although al the researchers agree that blood flow changes within the brain is a key element to the cause of migraines. In most people who get migraines headaches appear that due to triggers there blood vessels overreact and cause the symptoms of a migraine.

During the researches scientists came to a decision or a theory that explains why the blood flow changes occur and that the process of a migraine headache are due to some biochemical changes. The theory, According to the research is that response of the nervous system from stress that causes spasms of the nerve-rich arteries. These arteries are located at the base of the brain. The spasm constricts or closes down one or more arteries that supply blood to the brain; these arteries include the scalp, the carotid and the neck arteries.

When these arteries constrict the blood flow to the brain is reduced. During the time that the blood flow is reduced platelets know as blood-clotting particles coagulate. During this process it is believed that there is a chemical release of serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone found within the brain, platelets, digestive tract, and pineal gland. Serotonin acts both as a neurotransmitter and a vasoconstrictor.

Serotonin is known as a constrictor of arteries, this reduces the blood supply even more from the brain. Being that blood contains oxygen the reduced flow of blood to the brain due to the constriction of the arteries, the brain receives less oxygen. As the brain receives less blood flow and not getting the oxygen needed that’s when the symptoms of a migraine may start including distorted vision and or speech. These symptoms are often compared to the symptoms of a stroke. Also in reaction to the reduced oxygen the brain seeks the needed energy and dilates or opens certain arteries. This dilation triggers and release prostaglandins also know as pain producing substances. This chemical substance also cause swelling or inflammation and increases the sensitivity to pain.

Through the circulation of the chemical substance within the blood stimulates nocieptors which are pain sensitive. Thus resulting in the throbbing pain within the head, we call a migraine, according to the theory of course.

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