Study on brain abnormalities in migraines

"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," said 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. "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 colleagues used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to acquire T2-weighted and 3-D T1-weighted brain images from 63 migraine patients and 18 healthy controls. Using special software and statistical analysis, they estimated cortical thickness and surface area and correlated it with the patients' clinical and radiologic characteristics.
Compared to controls, migraine patients showed reduced cortical thickness and surface area in regions related to pain processing. There was only minimal anatomical overlap of cortical thickness and cortical surface area abnormalities, with cortical surface area abnormalities being more pronounced and distributed than cortical thickness abnormalities. The presence of aura and white matter hyperintensities—areas of high intensity on MRI that appear to be more common in people with migraine—was related to the regional distribution of cortical thickness and surface area abnormalities, but not to disease duration and attack frequency.
"The most important finding of our study was that cortical abnormalities that occur in patients with migraine are a result of the balance between an intrinsic predisposition, as suggested by cortical surface area modification, and disease-related processes, as indicated by cortical thickness abnormalities," Dr. Filippi said. "Accurate measurements of cortical abnormalities could help characterize migraine patients better and improve understanding of the pathophysiological processes underlying the condition."
Additional research is needed to fully understand the meaning of cortical abnormalities in the pain processing areas of migraine patients, according to Dr. Filippi.
"Whether the abnormalities are a consequence of the repetition of migraine attacks or represent an anatomical signature that predisposes to the development of the disease is still debated," he said. "In my opinion, they might contribute to make migraine patients more susceptible to pain and to an abnormal processing of painful conditions and stimuli."MRI shows brain abnormalities in migraine patients

Add this to the brain abnormalities in FM and I must have a fascinating brain. Actually after one of my tests... CAT scan or MRI can't recall my doctor told me I had a young looking brain because the surface of the brain ages over time and mine looked... young. Nice. Or is it just reduced cortical thickness due to massive amounts of migraines? Hmm. Who knows, but I doubt the brain likes being electrocuted that often... I imagine it would have some physiological change in the areas that process pain, just like it does in FM... which ironically makes us more wired for pain.

Head shinkery appointment and setting plans

I had very little sleep today which means... Hello jittery energetic pre-migraine me. Also early migraine onset. Also insane visual snow and a nice bit of vertigo as well.

And today was my shrink appointment... so I chattered on and on and on. We did talk about my wanting to get on my making specialist appointments, especially the pain clinic one, but my doctor is on holidays right now. I mentioned I really want to go for the migraines although i get my doctor wants me to go for the migraine and fibro connection. But I tolerate FM and have for so long that I don't expect much from doctors for treatment.... because I don't know how that doctor will view it. And I loath the researchers can't agree what FM is and their bickering about it trickles down to doctors who end up being dismissive or ineffective or don't know what to do. And frankly I'm sick of it because we are the ones that suffer for all their indecisiveness, ineffectiveness and ineptitude. A strong comprehensive treatment will work but it is never given. So I just don't bother with all that crap and continue to cope on my own until they decide on what FM is and how it should be treated... likely several decades from now. It is just my disgust with researchers coming out really... the ones who don't believe in FM, who say it is just nothing out of the norm, or psychological... they piss me off because it sets everything back. And I'm like fine you believe that shit then I'll continue to not have treatment... because apparently that should just work out fine then, right? But that is not what I really mean because I believe they are way off base. I believe many people were misdiagnosed with FM when doctors under the old criteria failed to use the trigger pain tests and diagnoses people they couldn't figure out why they had lingering pain for. There laziness and lack of due diligence had caused FM to be seen as a garbage diagnosis and a real diagnosis because now both exist. So now every doctor has to look at every patient and figure out if it is really FM or if they actually have say hypothyroidism or depression or any number of other things that were never properly looked at. And that is not our fault... but we get the fall out... we get looked at like maybe  it might all be in our heads or maybe we do have depression when we see a doctor. What I really believe is FM exists and is is neurological and should be actively treated on many fronts.

Then I mentioned the probiotics I have been taking which actually do seem to be helping my IBS-D already... so awesome first step there.

And I mentioned I order the electronic smokes to help with my asthma and to maybe taper down on my nicotine.

And then starting my exercise again but being careful of my back.

And we discussed what work options I was looking at for after my leave finishes... still a little stumped on that, but looking for options.

neuro 'lifestyle changes' and quitting smoking fun

There are certain lifestyle changes a neurologist will mention that may or may not help with chronic migraines that they mention simply because they have nothing else to say. For example, if you happen to be over weight then you should do something about that then shouldn't you? I am not currently overweight because Topamax knocked off twenty pounds which put me into the normal category and since then my digestive system has rather been knocking off a pound or so regularly because I have not been put on a med to rapidly increase it. I wouldn't recommend this method by the way, horrific way to go about it and I doubt that is what they mean by weight loss but whatever. Point is... they will point it out. Another is exercise... go exercise because that is what you want to do when you have a migraine every day... shake that brain around. I did go about this as well, catching the rare moments I didn't have a migraine, or before it. Minus bad days. But then my back went gimpy and threw that routine off, but nevertheless this is on the list... have never seen the benefit but hey I'm sure there is a general benefit even if it never helps with the pain. The next is caffeine... no caffeine... bad caffeine... even though, yes, sometimes it can be good and even though, yes, sometimes it doesn't make one bit of a difference in some people. It will be mentioned. Even if you have cut it out before and it made no difference at all. At least this one is fairly easy... lots of caffeine free products to replace your caffeine ones.

Now  the one I really want to mention is Smoking. That horrific Bad Habit that everyone complains about. It is so Bad For You. Why don't you quit? You would feel so much better. Surely it would cure all your ills. And prolong your horrifically painful life. Well to all those people I like to say 'whoever has no bad habit throw the first stone... and if your body is a temple, then likely you over exercise and diet relentlessly and that is in fact your bad habit so watch you don't blind your eye when you throw that stone at yourself.' We all have them... this is just apparently the easiest to mock and most socially unacceptable. I like smoking for a few reasons. A) a part of me doesn't care about prolonging my life B) when I am stressed and in a crapload of pain that I can do nothing about having a smoke makes me feel a little better. and C) I have quit and it does not help with migraines, the reason that it might it plain idiotic and so it is an idiotic reason.

However... I do need to quit smoking... not for migraines, as I said, it isn't going to help there. I need to quit because I have asthma. And I know OMG why the hell am I smoking? Well, I've had asthma about six years or five... smoking for almost two decades. That is why. This last cold demonstrated my asthma is not under control unless I use my preventative and that cold went into the lungs and I was wheezing like hell and I still have the cold... so very long lasting. I would not need as much of the asthma preventative if I did not smoke. It would be far less symptomatic and easier to manage.

Hoe is another question altogether. I have tried many quit smoking products and many of them I have adverse reactions to. I can use the mints. And a fake smoke. That sort of works once I have already cut down significantly. I can try that again. But I decided first I am order those epuffers... those electronic smokes online... they are fake smokes with nicotine, but without all the harmful things to your lungs. I will try this and see how the asthma improves with them. Should get them in a couple weeks. And if I decided to quit on them then I just order cartridges with less nicotine and then cartridges with none.

IBS and probiotics

Probiotics Reduce Stress-Induced Intestinal Flare-Ups    This is pretty interesting. I'm actually trying a probiotic supplement as a way to help manage my IBS-D because it is problematic and worse when I have a migraine... have to wonder how much nutrients I'm getting and the whole thing affects my appetite quite a bit. Doctors really do not give you many options for IBS-D and you can get pretty sick fast when this causes problems during a status migraine stretch.

"For those with irritable bowel syndrome who wonder if stress aggravates their intestinal disorder, a new University of Michigan Health System study shows it’s not all in their head.
Researchers revealed that while stress does not cause IBS, it does alter brain-gut interactions and induces the intestinal inflammation that often leads to severe or chronic belly pain, loss of appetite and diarrhea.
Stress has a way of suppressing an important component called an inflammasome which is needed to maintain normal gut microbiota, but probiotics reversed the effect in animal models, according to findings published online ahead of print in Gastroenterology.
“The effect of stress could be protected with probiotics which reversed the inhibition of the inflammasome,” says senior study author and gastroenterologist John Y. Kao, M.D., associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan. “This study reveals an important mechanism for explaining why treating IBS patients with probiotics makes sense.”
Probiotics are live bacteria that help grow the gut-dwelling “good” bacteria that keep pathogens in check, aid digestion and nutrient absorption and contribute to immune function."

Night Owls and FM-Fibromyalgia Knowledge Base - Myths, Truths, Solutions (playlist)

Memory failure, fatigue, depression, stress... well crap. Well I have really crappy sleep. Getting to sleep, staying asleep and refreshed sleep. And yeah naturally I fall asleep way later than normal. I suppose it is more important than I thought to sort this sleep cycle crap out.

Pain and cognitive impairments-Fibromyalgia Knowledge Base - Myths, Truths, Solutions (playlist)

Pain causes the cognitive impairments... go figure. I have read some of these studies that show it isn't depression or the sleep... but the pain. Pain makes it hard to focus and concentrate. I noticed this with chronic migraines because same problems but magnified.

I now hate numbess and tingling as a migraine symptom

Ever since my experience with the whole peripheral neuropathy in my right hand, and to a minor extent the left, numbness and tingling is not something I like to have as a migraine aura. I don't mind the whole hand tingling because that feels different. And I don't mind the tingling or numbness in the face right before a migraine because it is a very brief aura, although I don't like the more common cool numbness in the forehead that I get these days because I can't explain that one. The way the nerve damage happened in my hand was very specific... very odd, very un-migraine like and very permanent. And it feels very different than any numbness or tingling you would get with a migraine aura... different sort of numbness, and not really tingling more a prickling pain. That hand I can honestly say experiences a lot of sensations that it never did and a lot less texture and dexterity than it used to. The other hand was affected by the initial incident but I can barely feel the effects of it, mostly when it is hot or cold can I feel where the damage was done.

So yesterday night I was fighting a wicked migraine... could not sleep it was so intense. I had already tried to treat it with a triptan the day before and had an adverse reaction to that triptan... caused some racing heart rate and those annoying chest pains that indicate possibly chest wall pain or maybe my asthma didn't like the triptan. Likely the asthma given I woke up that morning rather gaspy. So attempting that again didn't seem prudent. I am careful with tritpans since sometimes my response to them side effect wise can be unpleasant. And I felt decidedly unwell from that experience given the migraine had gotten significantly worse not better for all that effort. Granted all that not sleeping does not help. Point being I shifted around to get more uncomfortable and realize my left hand isn't feeling right... as in not feeling sensation right. And it is the one that feels properly so trust me I noticed. I have been experiencing a lot of hand pain this last month or more in the finger joints so I sleep in a way to ensure they are not being caught under my body... because the hand pain is always worst in the morning, don't want to make it worse by sleeping on them. Anyway, all my finger tips were numb with less sensation. Not cold. Numb in the same way as my right hand but not as severe because my right hand is numb with pain, and that may not make sense but trust me both can be true. The left just felt the loss of sensation not the misfiring and not even intense numbness, but enough I noticed it.

It hasn't gone away either. But it hasn't gotten worse. If it had spread and half my hand was numb like the first go around... then I would seriously have gone to the ER and demanded they somehow put a 'stop to it' before the whole hand was damaged. But it is just the fingertips... which isn't even the same way as last time. Not saying that sort of thing has to follow a certain pattern or anything. But I don't want to freak out and assume it is nerve damage when I do in fact have a wicked migraine. Also my nails are weirdly discolored so maybe... I don't know lack of circulation or something. Or, hell, people with FM often get Raynauds phenomena and with the nails plus the tingling numbness that even seems more likely than spontaneous nerve damage.

I suppose it is a good thing I'm making a doctors appointment tomorrow because of side effects from the depo shot and to make a specialist apt... might be a good idea to mention whatever the hell is up with my hands.

I would love to just redirect you to the new site...

But sadly the redirect function doesn't function. I will continue to persist hitting it and see if it will eventually do something. Or s...