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More on Migraines


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Reenie Find out more about Reenie
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  • More on Migraines

    I found this article and was reminded how many of those with HCM seem to have trouble with migraines too. I wonder if there is any correlation with this?


    Migraine Pain Might Signal Deeper Problems


    Mini-strokes could be triggered in some users, researchers argue
    By Mark Bloom, HealthDay Reporter

    SATURDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- The lessons on migraine headaches leave some people wanting to learn more.

    Medicines for treating migraine pain or preventing migraine attacks are improving all the time. But a series of small studies has opened new debate on whether migraine may be more than just a painful experience, at least for some patients.

    Migraine, some researchers say, is triggering ischemic mini-strokes (small blood blockages in the brain) for certain sufferers. This, doctors suggest, means migraine may add up to a chronic progressive disease, each attack pointing toward an eventual critical mass.

    Migraine is considered a vascular headache because it is associated with changes in the size of the arteries in and outside of the brain.

    The purported link between migraine and apparent mini-strokes is particularly pronounced for victims whose attacks coincide with an aura spots or lines before their eyes though patients without aura are not always immune. Interestingly, this same aura phenomenon was observed in another study linking migraine attacks with chest pain mimicking that of a heart attack.

    The chest pain, however, was not a sign of heart disease. Nor did the mini-strokes cause the classic symptoms of a stroke. They were what doctors call sub clinical real, as confirmed by sensitive MRI scans but without overt effects. What worries the neurologists is that the minor brain damage caused by enough of these sub clinical migraine-triggered events might accumulate over time to result in serious trouble.

    Migraine should be conceptualized not just as an episodic disorder but as a chronic-episodic and sometimes chronic progressive disorder, wrote Drs. Richard B. Lipton and Jullie Pan of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City in an editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

    Under this paradigm, they added, the goals of treatment may shift. Instead of merely relieving pain and restoring patients' ability to function, there could also be a need to prevent migraine disease progression. Researchers don't believe that all migraineurs are at risk of these mini-strokes, and they are trying to pinpoint the subgroup that is most sensitive for special attention.

    The Einstein team was commenting on a Dutch study in the medical journal that looked at 60 brain infarcts detected in 31 migraneurs. The study concluded that patients with migraine in the general population are at increased risk of these sub clinical mini-strokes, particularly lesions located in the posterior cerebellum.

    Patients with migraine with aura and a high attack frequency were at greatest risk. In addition, women, but not men, with migraine with and without aura were at increased risk of deep white matter lesions, and this risk also increased with the frequency of each attack.

    White matter damage is probably the result of even brief blood blockages, temporary low blood sugar, hypoglycemia, energy deprivation, oxidative stress, or platelet clumping.

    Whether this all boils down to a significant finding is not yet clear. Why only women and not men should be at increased risk for white matter lesions is not known, but this finding is consistent with women being at increased risk for stroke, the Dutch authors wrote.

    Meanwhile, a subsequent analysis of 14 studies in the medical literature found that the risk of ischemic stroke was more than twice as great for migraineurs as it was for people who don't have migraine. And if it turns out that reducing the frequency of migraine attacks is a viable approach to preventing the accumulation of brain damage, there is always surgery.

    In the January 2005 issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, a study found that patients can be injected with Botox to determine which muscles in their forehead or back of their head triggered their migraines. Once the muscles are pinpointed, they can be surgically removed.

    The surgery eliminated migraines in 35 percent of the patients and reduced the frequency, intensity or duration of migraines in 92 percent.

    Husband has HCM.
    3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.

  • #2
    Interesting! Though i'm not a typical migraine sufferer (calling my regular headaches migraine would be an insult to the real migraine patients) it somehow reinforces the idea that pain is always indicating something wrong.

    BTW, my regular dose of betablockers has relieved me of 90% of my headaches. This is a known usage for betablockers, but it sure is a benifical effect.

    \"Hope is disappointment postponed\"

    Dx in 2004, first symptoms 20 years ago? Obstructed, A-fib, family history!

    Combined Morrow and (left atrial) Maze procedures & PVI at St. Antonius Hospital, Netherlands, March 28, 2013.

    Meds (past) propranolol, metoprolol, disopyramide, sotalol, amiodaron, aspirin, dabigatran, acenocoumarol.

    Meds (current) sotalol, dabigatran, furosemide.


    • #3
      The article is very interesting.

      I started getting migraines when I was in my early teens. They were so bad that I couldn't stand light, anyone sitting or lying on the bed, different scents and noise. Most of the time I would vomit and feel a little better.

      I haven't had a really bad migraine in at least 4 years. Maybe it is the different medications I'm on.

      Thanks for the info.


      • #4
        Great - this article is me to a T - and I have already had one major stroke! UFF DA

        What they are saying makes a great deal of sense to me and I am interested to hear more about this.

        Thanks Reenie!

        Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
        YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

        Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
        lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
        Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
        Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
        Currently not obstructed
        Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)


        • #5
          My youngest son is prone to migraines. Every time he's stressed or has his schedule messed up he gets one. He also feels a lot better after he vomits. It hit home with me reading this article, then I thought of all here who have also talked about migraines. The only migraine my husband has ever had began with yellow spots in front of his eyes. UGH.

          PS: You're welcome. I'm hoping to hear more from this one too.


          Husband has HCM.
          3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.


          • #6
            I had severe migraines which always started with visual auras from age 10. Eventually I stopped having the severe pain and have had mostly just the auras for some years now. I would be very interested in knowing whether there is any HCM correlation.



            • #7
              I remember as a child getting migraines, but I haven’t had them my entire adult life. In particular I remember going to see a matinee of “Gone with the Wind” at a local theater and coming out into bright sunlight. I was all but paralyzed by that one. To this day I don’t know how I ever got back home.

              Mostly the way I would deal with a migraine would be to lay down in bed with my head on the pillow, then wrap my upper arm over my head and hold on to the headboard. This would immobilize my head and allow me to “sleep it off.” Sometimes that would take quite a while, but it was much more effective then any pills my mom ever came up with.

              Now-a-days I rarely even get headaches, but when I do I can usually “forget” about them in a very short time. I think the few headaches I did get, which seemed to be in clusters, were caused by medication changes more then anything else. Anybody here ever notice the onslaught of headaches as a result of a change in medication?


              • #8
                Burt, that's an interesting question about headaches being connected to medicine changes. I would bet that there are certainly people out there who do have this happen. I never had migraines, but my son gets them. His seem to be connected to changes in his schedule. When we lived overseas and would travel back and forth to the US I could always bet on him getting sick with a headache and vomiting. Sometimes the nausea would last 12 hours or more. Dramamine didn't seem to help much, either.


                Husband has HCM.
                3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.


                • #9
                  My daughter Sarah who is 24 now had them at age 8. She would have such bad ones when they happened she would go from screaming in pain and vomiting to appearing to lose consciousness. They did a cat scan and said mostly it looked normal but if left to speculate there was a tiny area that the neurologist felt could be not as well circulated with blood.. He prescribed an antihistamine ( can't recall the name). She was to be on that for one year and I was to remove all nitrites from her diet. Foods like cold cuts , anything processed , cheese pizza, hot dogs, red grapes and anything I came upon with a high nitrite content. The down side was that she gained about 30 lbs and has never gotten over it and was teased a lot . She lost the added weight after the med was stopped and never had migraines again.

                  I developed migraines when I first started to also notice an increase in heart type symptoms. I was also working the night shift and drinking about 3-4 cups of coffee a night. The migraines would often hit me on the weekend I was off and I was not drinking more then a cup of coffee a day. When the vomiting would subside , I would drink a strong cup of coffee and the migraine would go away.

                  Knock on wood I have not had them for 11 years.

                  Dx @ 47 with HOCM & HF:11/00
                  Guidant ICD:Mar.01, Recalled/replaced:6/05 w/ Medtronic device
                  Lead failure,replaced 12/06.
                  SF lead recall:07,extracted leads and new device 2012
                  [email protected] Tufts, Boston:10/5/03; age 50. ( [email protected] 240 mmHg ++)
                  Paroxysmal A-Fib: 06-07,2010 controlled w/sotalol dosing
                  Genetic mutation 4/09, mother(d), brother, son, gene+
                  Mother of 3, grandma of 3:Tim,27,Sarah,33w/6 y/o old Sophia, 5 y/o Jack, Laura 34, w/ 5 y/o old Benjamin


                  • #10
                    I get really bad migraines as well - the aura, flashing lights for 20 minutes, then the headache. Maybe its a coincidence, but my HOCM symptoms always worse when this happens and I feel terrible for the next few hours!


                    Age 38, dad of two young children, dx 1996, myectomy March 2005, a-fib issues, due for ICD soon.


                    • #11
                      I found a couple more articles on this.


                      Migraine Linked to Increase in Heart Risk Factors
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                      Reuters Health

                      Monday, February 21, 2005

                      NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People who suffer from migraines have a higher cardiovascular risk profile than similar people who don't have these debilitating headaches, according to a new report. This is especially true for patients with migraines involving an aura.

                      Previous reports have linked migraine to an elevated risk of having a stroke. In the present study, Dr. Ann Scher, from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues examined the possibility that this was because migraine patients have a higher cardiovascular risk profile.

                      In the study, published in the medical journal Neurology, the risk profiles of 620 patients with migraine were compared with those of 5135 "control" subjects without migraine.

                      Migraine patients were more likely to be smokers, but less likely to be alcohol drinkers than controls. In addition, a parental history of heart attack at a young age was more common among migraine patients.

                      Compared with controls, people who experienced migraine with aura were more likely to have unfavorable cholesterol profiles, elevated blood pressure, and to report a history of early onset heart disease or stroke.

                      In terms of standard risk scores, migraine patients were about twice as likely as controls to be at elevated risk for heart disease, the investigators report.

                      Thus, they conclude, "further research is warranted to determine why migraineurs have these risk factors more frequently than nonmigraineurs and the nature of the additional mechanism that predisposes these individuals to early-onset cardiovascular disease."

                      SOURCE: Neurology, February 22, 2005.


                      Migraines With Aura Tied to Heart Disease Risk

                      Aura Sufferers Twice as Likely to Have Significant Heart Disease Risk Factors

                      By Jeanie Lerche Davis
                      WebMD Medical News Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario, MD
                      on Tuesday, February 22, 2005
                      More From WebMD

                      Feb. 22, 2005 - Migraine sufferers have twice the heart disease risk as nonsufferers, especially if the migraine is accompanied by an aura, new research shows.

                      The study appears in the current issue of the journal Neurology.

                      One-third of migraine sufferers have what's known as aura -- fleeting visual disturbances before the headache begins. Young women having aura migraines have an increased risk of stroke. If they smoke or take birth control pills, their risk is even higher.

                      "There has been substantial literature confirming an association between migraine with aura and ischemic stroke before the age of 45," writes lead researcher Ann Scher, MD, with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md. "But the question of whether there is a similar association with [heart disease] has not yet been definitely answered."

                      Her study investigates this possible link between migraines and heart disease. "For reasons that are not yet clear, people with migraine -- particularly those with aura -- may be more likely to have risk factors associated with [heart disease]," she writes.

                      Four studies of migraine sufferers did not uncover this sort of link, but those studies involved middle-aged or older adults, she notes. One study did not look at aura specifically.

                      Migraines, Aura, and Heart Disease

                      In their study, Scher and her colleagues focused on 620 migraine sufferers, 31% of whom had aura. Researchers logged the heart disease risk factors of each volunteer, including blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking, and birth control pill use.

                      They found that men with migraine were nearly twice as likely to have a father who had an early heart attack. Both men and women with migraines were nearly twice as likely to have a mother who had an early heart attack.

                      Migraine sufferers with auras had the most heart disease risk factors, she writes.

                      * They were 40%-60% more likely to have high cholesterol and 70% more likely to have high blood pressure.
                      * Women were twice as likely to use birth control pills.
                      * They had a three times greater risk of reporting premature heart disease or stroke.

                      Overall, those having migraines with aura were "roughly twice or more likely" to have significant heart disease risk factors, she writes.

                      Understanding the role of classic risk factors for cardiovascular disease in migraine sufferers might help to understand why people with migraines and aura have an increased risk of early stroke, she writes.

                      SOURCES: News release, American Academy of Neurology. Scher, A. Neurology, February 2005; vol. 64: pp 614-620.

                      Husband has HCM.
                      3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.