Migraine news this week: May 21

Catch up on the headlines!

Exposure to narrow band of green light improves migraine symptoms
MRF Medical Advisory Board member Dr. Rami Burstein and a team of researchers tested the effects of different colors of light on migraine pain. They found that green light decreased pain by 20%, while all other colors increased it.

Dr. Burstein is now working to develop affordable versions of green lightbulbs and sunglasses that will block out all but the green light.

Randomised clinical trial comparing melatonin 3 mg, amitriptyline 25 mg and placebo for migraine prevention
Amitriptyline is known to prevent migraines, but can come with side effects that make many sufferers unable to take it. Melatonin, an over-the-counter supplement that has fewer side effects, has also been found to help prevent migraines.

Researchers looked at exactly how effective they each were in preventing migraines and found that melatonin was just as effective in migraine prevention as amitriptyline and was tolerated much better. This provides sufferers who can't tolerate amitriptyline with an immediate, low-cost alternative for migraine prevention.

Hypoxic mechanisms in primary headaches
Hypoxia, or oxygen deficiency usually due to high elevation, is known to cause headaches in the general population that mimic headaches seen in migraine disease. Researchers including MRF Grantee Dr. Messoud Ashina investigated the possible link between hypoxia and migraine. Through a review of past studies, they found that living in high-altitude areas was indeed associated with an increased risk of migraine disease. This could lead to new research that will further the understanding of the underlying causes of migraine.

Allergens might trigger migraine attacks
Researchers investigated the relationship between migraine attacks and allergens by testing migraine sufferers and non-sufferers for allergies. They found that significantly more migraine sufferers tested positive for allergies than non-sufferers. They also found that migraine sufferers with allergies tended to have more frequent attacks than sufferers without allergies. This connection between allergies and migraine suggests all sufferers should be tested and helps further the understanding of the underlying causes of migraine.