One expert thinks he has found the root cause of all migraines, which could lead to a cure.
Migraines come with a range of debilitating symptoms, from extreme headaches and vision problems to nausea and dizziness.
But this new study suggests that there is just one root cause for all migraine symptoms. Professor Jonathan Borkum, a clinical psychologist and professor at the University of Maine, studied around 2,000 recent papers on the subject and realised they pointed to one conclusion.
Migraines, he concluded, are caused by a surplus of “free radicals”, which are corrosive molecules produced as the body processes oxygen.
Dehydration, air pollution and other known migraine triggers can cause the body to over-produce these free radicals, which causes a condition called “oxidative stress”. Borkum believes that migraines may be caused by the body trying to protect and heal itself during a free radical attack.
The solution could be as simple as taking the right vitamin or supplement, such as beta carotene and vitamin C. However, supplements can come with their own set of risks; one study suggests that people taking antioxidant supplements have a higher risk of early death.
Dr Borkum, who published his paper in the Headache medical journal, said, “Understanding migraines may ultimately teach us how we, too, can protect the brain,” he added.
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