ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture May Trigger Natural Painkiller
Acupuncture Eases Side Effects of Head, Neck Cancer Treatments
Garlic Yields Up Its Health Secret
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Rheumatoid Arthritis a Threat to the Heart
Chronic Low Back Pain Is on the Rise
In Elderly Women, Hip Fractures Often Follow Arm Breaks
CANCER
Vitamin E, Selenium and Soy Won't Prevent Prostate Cancer
Omega-3 May Safely Treat Precancerous Bowel Polyps
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
CAREGIVING
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
Mom's Smoking May Lead to SIDS
When the Caregiver Becomes the Patient
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Night Shift Work Hard on the Heart
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
DENTAL, ORAL
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
DIABETES
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
DIET, NUTRITION
Trans-Fat Ban In New York City Is Proving successful
Olive Oil May Be Key to Mediterranean Diet's Benefits
Eat Up, But Eat Healthy This Holiday Season
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Population-Based Strategy Urged to Cut U.S. Obesity Rate
Short-Term Air Pollution Exposure May Damage DNA
Gene Mutation May Cause Some Cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder
EYE CARE, VISION
Clues Found to Brain Mechanism Behind Migraines
Poor Night Vision May Predict Age-Related Eye Disease
Omega-3 Foods May Lower Eye Disease Risk
FITNESS
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
GENERAL HEALTH
Workplace Wellness Seems to Really Work
Eating More Soy May Be Good For Your Lung Function
Want Sun Protection? Wear Red or Blue
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Cherry-Enriched Diet Cut Heart Risks in Rats
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
Fussy Babys Could Be Out Of Your Control
MEN'S HEALTH
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Meditation May Boost College Students' Learning
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
SENIORS
Seniors Who Volunteer May Live Longer
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Supportive Weigh-In Program Keeps Pounds Off
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
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Clues Found to Brain Mechanism Behind Migraines

WEDNESDAY, March 11 (HealthDay News) -- Scientists believe they may have found the biological trigger to a particular type of migraine headache.

In the March 12 issue of Neuron, an Italian university study on mice found that increased levels of the neurotransmitter glutamate in the brain appear to kick off a cortical spreading depression (CSD), a phenomenon that causes migraine sufferers to experience a visual disturbance known as migraine aura. The mice in the study had a gene mutation that has been shown to make people more susceptible to familial hemiplegic migraine (FHM), a subtype of severe migraine accompanied by the aura.

Brain imaging has previously shown that strong neuronal depolarization creeps across the cerebral cortex during CSD, initially increasing electrical signals in the brain, then suppressing neural activity for an extended period of time. Researchers have suspected CSD may flip on certain switches that start a migraine headache.

The researchers from the University of Padova, led by senior author Daniela Pietrobon, found that calcium influx and subsequent glutamate release at cortical pyramidal cell synapses were greater in mice with the FHM mutation. When the release of glutamate -- the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain -- was decreased to normal levels, the mice did not experience aura-inducing CSD.

"Our findings provide direct evidence that enhanced glutamate release may explain the facilitation of CSD in the FHM mouse model," Pietrobon, who works in the university's biomedical sciences department, said in a news release issued by the journal's publisher.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about migraines.



-- Kevin McKeever



SOURCE: Cell Press, news release, March 11, 2009

Last Updated: March 11, 2009

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