ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
Traditional Chinese Therapy May Help Ease Eczema
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Low Vitamin D Raises Women's Hip Fracture Risk
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
CANCER
Yoga Eases Sleep Problems Among Cancer Survivors
Some Spices Cut Cancer Risk That Comes With Grilled Burgers
Vitamin C Shows Promise as Cancer Treatment
CAREGIVING
When the Caregiver Becomes the Patient
Depression, PTSD Common Among Lung Transplant Patient Caregivers
Exercise During Pregnancy May Help Baby
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Night Shift Work Hard on the Heart
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
DIABETES
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes Updated
DIET, NUTRITION
For Fitness, Cutting Calories May Not Be Enough
To Feel Better, Low-Fat Diet May Be Best
Is Your Refrigerator Getting Enough Attention For Your Raw Food Success?
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Dementia Underestimated in Developing Countries
Gas Stove Emissions Boost Asthma in Inner-City Kids
U.S. Diet Needs Heart-Felt Overhaul
EYE CARE, VISION
Decorative Halloween Eye Lenses May Pose Serious Risks
Green Tea May Ward Off Eye Disease
'Blind' Man Navigates Obstacle Course Without Error
FITNESS
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
Avoiding a Holiday Season of Discontent
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
GENERAL HEALTH
Meat Additives May Be Dangerous for Kidney Patients
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Most Fast-Food French Fries Cooked in Unhealthiest Oil
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Risk Factor for Stroke More Common Among Whites
Soy Protein Doesn't Lower Cholesterol
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
3 Home Habits Help Youngsters Stay Slim
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
Scary Toxins Make Halloween Face Paints Questionable
MEN'S HEALTH
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
The Unmedicated Mind
Love Hormone May Ease Discussion of Painful Topics
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
SENIORS
Mediterranean Diet Plus Exercise Lowers Alzheimer's Risk
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Iodine in Prenatal Vitamins Varies Widely
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
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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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