The shocking scan results have revealed an important clue that could help solve the ongoing mystery of why some people experience debilitating migraines.
A migraine is usually characterized by a moderate to severe headache that feels like throbbing pain on one side of the head.
Common symptoms include severe pain, nausea, fatigue, and cognitive dysfunction.
About 4.9 million people in Australia suffer from migraines. Of these, 71 percent are women and 86 percent are of working age, and 7.6 percent are chronically ill with at least 15 days of pain per month, according to 2018 data. report.
The cost to the Australian economy as a whole is about $35.7 billion. This includes $14.3 billion in healthcare costs, $16.3 billion in productivity costs, and $5.1 billion in other costs.
To date, what exactly causes migraines remains a “mystery” and experts are desperate to shed light on the debilitating condition that causes migraines. affects at least 15 percent of the world’s population.
But now a new study has made a discovery that they hope can help these people. MRI scans taken of people suffering from the condition have shown that they have enlarged fluid-filled spaces surrounding blood vessels in the central regions of the brain.
American researchers believe that this may indicate that patients are having problems flushing waste from the brain and nervous system. Sun reports.
This was told by Wilson Xu, a doctoral student at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and co-author of the study. USA Today: “Seeing such a connection between increased [perivascular spaces] we think that in a certain area of the white matter of the brain there may be some connection between migraines and this waste disposal system.”
Mr Xu said researchers are “not sure about the exact relationship between migraine and perivascular spaces,” but it could be related to blood flow in the brain or have other implications.
“We think that when a migraine occurs, it can cause these changes, and these changes can lead to some of the symptoms and things that we experience when we have a migraine,” he said.
“These changes have never been reported before.”
The researchers explained that although the nature of the link between enlarged perivascular spaces and migraine is unclear, the results suggest that migraine occurs due to problems with the brain’s plumbing.
This is because the brain emptying process known as the glymphatic system uses perivascular channels for transport.
“The results of our study may inspire future larger studies to further explore how changes in microscopic brain vessels and blood supply affect different types of migraine,” Xu said.
“Ultimately, this could help us develop new, personalized ways to diagnose and treat migraine.”
The results of the study, which examined the brains of 25 people aged 25 to 60, will be presented in full next week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago, USA.
Participants were healthy and had no cognitive impairment or psychiatric illness.
Some had frequent migraines, others reported occasional migraines, and still others reported no symptoms at all.
All participants underwent a high-resolution brain scan, known as a 7T scan, which produces higher-resolution images than MRI.
Originally published as Shocking images show how debilitating migraines affect the brain