If you have migraine, you’re likely aware that it’s complex, multi-dimensional…and inherited! Over 200 genetic shifts are believed responsible for making some individuals more vulnerable to migraine than others. And because every individual’s migraine profile is different, it would be challenging to find a true, one-size-fits-all treatment approach to manage it.
But thanks to scientists and researchers, promising new developments are bringing improvement to people with migraine pain. Here are a few:
Non-pharmacological approaches are gaining popularity, as people with migraine have struggled to find the right medications for themselves or worried about over-medicating. The scientific and technological communities have collaborated to create safe yet effective, non-invasive devices for people with migraine.
Neuromodulation (or nerve stimulation) devices deliver electrical or magnetic pulses to specific nerves believed to play a role in migraine formation, with the goal of reducing migraine frequency and severity. Four types of devices currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are used to stimulate various critical nerves and pathways across the nervous system:
An intensive 2022 study pooled genetic data from 873,000 research participants in the U.S., Europe, and Australia, 102,000 of whom had migraine disorder. It considered the two main migraine subtypes — migraine with aura (sensory disturbances) and without aura — and what makes them different at a molecular/genetic level.
The study reported finding three risk variants for migraine with aura, two specific to migraine without area and, finally, nine new variants that increase migraine risk, regardless of subtype.
Although the underlying mechanisms of migraine are still unknown, these new findings let scientists more confidently approach it as a neurovascular issue in origin, rather than just a neurological one. The findings also emphasize the importance of a holistic, individualized approach to developing treatment plans for people with migraine.
A 2022 review provided a history of migraine theories and discussed researchers’ current understanding of how gut microbiota may be involved in the underlying mechanisms of migraine.
This review looked not just at how the gut microbiota plays a role in migraine formation, but also at potential indirect factors, such as diet and probiotics, the vagus nerve, and so on. Overall, researchers found that certain microbiota changes were indeed powerful enough to change mood and pain tolerance.
While migraine is typically characterized by the nature, frequency, and intensity of the headache, we now know that treatment of a migraine episode must encompass more than pain relief. Future models and clinical trials must focus on pinpointing microbiome changes that help to form and sustain a migraine; another path of study might determine how an altered gut microbiome affects the vagus nerve.
In the treatment of migraine, scientists must observe other systems and mechanisms within the body, and consider psychosocial parameters as well. This compelling new paradigm will require much study, but can effectively spark new discoveries and advances in migraine relief.
Are you ready to uncover the cause of your migraine episodes? One very effective approach is through a DNA-guided treatment program that gives you a clearer picture of why and how your migraines occur. DNA-informed treatments can help you find a tailored approach that works quickly to identify, treat, and potentially halt your migraines.
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