Most of the spam I get on this blog comes in as ersatz comments on The hypothalamus couples with the brainstem to cause migraines. I don’t know what it is about the post that attracts internet bots.
The unwanted attention is too bad because the post represents a good personal illustration of “changes in the neural response to painful stimuli.” Last year I experienced three three-day migraines in one month as did the study’s subject. This led to me cycling through a half-dozen medications in an effort to address the migraine causes.
None of the medications proved to be effective at treating the causes. I found one that interrupted the progress of migraines – sumatriptan, a serotonin receptor agonist. I’ve used it when symptoms start, and the medication has kept me from having a full-blown migraine episode in the past year.
1. It may be argued that migraine headache tendencies are genetically inherited. Supporting personal evidence is that both my mother and younger sister have migraine problems. My father, older sister, and younger brother didn’t have migraine problems. Familial genetic inheritance usually isn’t the whole story of diseases, though.
2. Migraine headaches may be an example of diseases that are results of how humans have evolved. From Genetic imprinting, sleep, and parent-offspring conflict:
“..evolutionary theory predicts: that which evolves is not necessarily that which is healthy.
Why should pregnancy not be more efficient and more robust than other physiological systems, rather than less? Crucial checks, balances and feedback controls are lacking in the shared physiology of the maternal–fetal unit.“
Both migraine causes and effects may be traced back to natural lacks of feedback loops. These lacks demonstrate that such physiological feedback wasn’t evolutionarily necessary in order for humans to survive and reproduce.
3. Examples of other processes occurring during prenatal development that also lack feedback loops, and their subsequent diseases, are:
A. Hypoxic conditions per Lack of oxygen’s epigenetic effects are causes of the fetus later developing:
- “age-related macular degeneration
- cancer progression
- chronic kidney disease
- adipose tissue fibrosis
- detrimental effects which are linked to epigenetic changes.”
B. Stressing pregnant dams per Treating prenatal stress-related disorders with an oxytocin receptor agonist caused fetuses to develop a:
- “defect in glutamate release,
- anxiety- and depressive-like behavior,
- in social behavior,
- in the HPA response to stress, and
- in the expression of stress-related genes in the hippocampus and amygdala.”
1. What would be a treatment that could cure genetic causes for migraines?
I don’t know of any gene therapies.
2. What treatments could cure migraines caused by an evolved lack of feedback mechanisms?
We humans are who we have become, unless and until we can change original causes. Can we deal with “changes in the neural response to painful stimuli” without developing hopes for therapies or technologies per Differing approaches to a life wasted on beliefs?
3. What treatments could cure prenatal epigenetic causes for migraines?
The only effective solution I know of that’s been studied in humans is to prevent adverse conditions like hypoxia from taking place during pregnancy. The critical periods of our physical development are over once we’re adults, and we can’t unbake a cake.
Maybe science will offer other possibilities. Maybe it will be necessary for scientists to do more than their funding sponsors expect?
BTW, comments are turned off for the above-mentioned post. Readers can comment on this post instead.