New research on migraine brains

The next time someone calls you "thick headed", don’t be so offended.  New research says that migraine sufferers may be a little thick headed.

Ok, stop throwing things at your computer screen – let’s get serious.  New research is showing that the somatosensory cortex (SSC) area of the brain seems to be thicker in migrainuers.  The study out of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and is being published today in the online edition of Neurology.

Though this story is being plastered all over the news this morning, it really doesn’t tell us a lot.  There is a lot of evidence that the brains of migraine patients are different.  Yes, this may lead us to more specific answers.  But at this point we don’t even know if the SSC is thicker because of migraine attacks (most of these patients had been having severe attacks since childhood), or if the migraine attacks are a result of the thickened SSC.

Now researchers are planning a larger study to find out.  The results may help identify people who are predisposed to migraine, or help develop more treatments.

Whatever is discovered, this is more evidence at least of a physical problem.  Yes, there are still people that think migraine is an imagined illness.  However, it will be a while before this line of research really tells us much that will be a help.

But that’s the nature of good research, isn’t it?  While news media tries to find some instant significance in the latest study, the rest of us will keep an eye on it, and learn patience.

To learn more, read the official press release, or check out this helpful article from the BBC – Migraine brains ‘are different’.

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