Scientists Discover Potential Migraine Off-Switch Inside Brain 

Scientists Discover Potential Migraine Off-Switch Inside Brain. Credit | Shutterstock
Scientists Discover Potential Migraine Off-Switch Inside Brain. Credit | Shutterstock

United States: Migraine pain may be halted at its very source, stated researchers conducting a study, who recently identified conduit, relaying signals from distant parts of the brain and skull, and the body at large, could serve as a target. 

More about the news 

Researchers have long made efforts to point out the location in the brain from where migraines originate and understand the mechanism behind the induction of pain and other related symptoms like vomiting. 

This knowledge would help scientists find new ways through which they could prevent migraine pain from the origin, or at least could help in minimizing the steep pain when it onsets. 

More about Migraine pain 

One-third of people experiencing migraine pain experience blurry vision first, which is an indication of abnormal brain activity that spreads through the cortex, the outer layer of the brain, as reported. 

Scientists Discover Potential Migraine Off-Switch Inside Brain. Credit | Getty Images
Scientists Discover Potential Migraine Off-Switch Inside Brain. Credit | Getty Images

Moreover, this activity impacts the receptors inside the brain lying on brain-sensing neurons, which remain a little fuzzy. 

The brain is covered by a protective layer, acting as a brain barrier, keeping the potentially harmful elements from entering the central nervous system (CNS). 

There is one important key nerve hub that links the CNS to all the nerves lying outside it, known as the peripheral nervous system, the trigeminal ganglion. 

The shape of this nerve hub is shaped, located at the base of the skull and sends sensory information from the face and jaws to the brain. 

What has the new study found out? 

The new study conducted in mice revealed that cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) carries signaling molecules directly to cells in the trigeminal ganglion, thus bypassing a slower route through the meninges. 

According to University of Copenhagen biologist Martin Kaag Rasmussen and colleagues, while explaining their study, “We identify a communication pathway between the central and peripheral nervous system that might explain the relationship between migrainous aura and headache,” as reported. 

They also found that the constituents of the animals’ CSF were changed after the blurry vision symptom began. 

Rasmussen and colleagues said, “Our observations indicate that the trigeminal CSF uptake drives the immediate migraine headache,” and, however, “we also found that CSF composition quickly normalizes, suggesting that other processes might drive headache at later phases.” 

Hope for researchers  

Researchers now hope that, since they have successfully identified this signal pathway, which “may enable the discovery of new [drug] targets, to the benefit of the large portion of patients not responding well to currently available therapies.” 

Moreover, neuroscientists Andrew Russo of the University of Iowa and Jeffrey Iliff at the University of Washington noted, “Together, these findings provide a new mechanism that links the central and peripheral nervous systems,” as 

“Similarly, this mechanism may explain the intermingled clinical associations between traumatic brain injury, sleep disruption, and posttraumatic headache,” he continued.