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Research Shows Migraine Sufferers Have Brain Abnormalities

A recent article in Medical News Today announces that patients who suffer from migraines have reduced cortical thickness and surface area in pain-processing regions of the brain, compared to individuals who never have migraines. 

Italian researchers explained int he journal Radiology that brain abnormalities in migraine sufferers may be either present at birth, or develop overtime. 

Previous studies found atrophy of cortical regions in the brain related to pain processing. It was suggested that the deterioration was due to chronic stimulation of those areas, if people have persistent pain, there will be more stimulation in the area.

The 'cortical regions' refer to the cerebral cortex., often call "the cortex" and it is a thin layer of grey matter that covers the surface of each hemisphere of the brain. It is responsible for the processes of memory, perception, thought, pain, and serves as the seat of social abilities, language, problem solving and advanced motor function. 

Massimo Filippi, M.D., director of the Neuroimaging Research Unit at the University Ospedale San Raffaele and professor of neurology at the University Vita-Salute's San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Milan, both in Italy, said:

"For the first time, we assessed cortical thickness and surface area abnormalities in patients with migraine, which are two components of cortical volume that provide different and complementary pieces of information.

Indeed, cortical surface area increases dramatically during late fetal development as a consequence of cortical folding, while cortical thickness changes dynamically throughout the entire life span as a consequence of development and disease."

Dr. Filippi and team used MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to obtain T2-weighted and 3-D T1-weighted brain images from 81 volunteers - 63 of them were chronic migraine suffers while the other 18 never suffered from migraines (healthy controls). Using a special software program and statistical analysis, they estimated each participant's brain's cortical thickness and surface area and correlated the measurements with their clinical and radiologic characteristics.

They found that:

  • Those with migraines had thinner cortexes and smaller surface areas in regions related to pain-processing compared to the healthy controls
  • Cortical surface area abnormalities were more pronounced and distributed than cortical thickness abnormalities among the participants with migraines


Article from www.medicalnewstoday.com


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Monday, 20 August 2018