"" The body's natural clock has a role in the development of migraine and cluster headaches.

The body's natural clock has a role in the development of migraine and cluster headaches.

Excruciating bursts of pain on one side of the head frequently felt around the eye are known as cluster headaches. At the same time a migraine is characterized as a moderate to severe headache that hurts intensely. Research has revealed a connection between the body's internal clock and migraine and cluster headaches. The body's internal clock's role in the two headache diseases was examined in a meta analysis that included 72 research.

The study contained information on when and what time of day or year a person would get headaches. It also examined research on the chemicals cortisol and melatonin which are linked to the circadian system and studies on whether specific genes connected to the circadian clock are more prevalent in persons with these illnesses. According to the NHS a migraine is a moderate to severe headache that causes throbbing pain on one side of the head. In contrast cluster headaches are painful assaults of pain in one side of the head frequently felt around the eye.

The body's natural clock has a role in the development of migraine and cluster headaches.


What did the research show?


According to the data, cluster headaches and the body's internal clock were linked in 71% of cases with attacks appearing to peak in the small hours of the morning to late hours of the night. They were more probable in the spring and fall. Cortisol levels were greater and melatonin levels were lower in cluster headache sufferers than those without the condition.


Zee Health claims that melatonin rises at night to promote better sleep while cortisol typically reaches its peak in the morning to assist us in waking up. In 50% of cases with migraine the research revealed a pattern of attacks that fell between late morning and early evening with a drop off during the night when few attacks occurred. It was said that migraine attacks increased or became severe between April and October.


There are numerous genes linked to the risk of migraine and 110 of the 168 genes were shown to be related to circadian rhythm. Melatonin levels in urine were shown to be lower in migraine sufferers than in non sufferers and they were also lower during attacks. It highlights the issue of the genetics of triggers like changes in sleep.


The data indicate that both headache syndromes are extremely circadian at numerous levels particularly cluster headaches according to study author and American Academy of Neurology member Dr. Mark Joseph Burish.


According to Dr. Burish this emphasizes the significance of the "Hypothalamus a region of the brain that contains the main biological clock and its function in migraine and cluster headache.

It also calls into question the genetic basis of established migraine triggers including sleep disruptions which serve as cues for the body's circadian rhythm.


The findings suggest using circadian based therapies for headache problems and may include both therapies based on the circadian rhythm  such as taking drugs at specific times of the day and therapies that create circadian changes which some therapies can accomplish" added Dr. Burish.


Limitations of the research


Researchers discovered they needed more knowledge about additional elements affecting the circadian cycle. These included prescription drugs conditions like bipolar disorder or problems like working night shifts or staying late. The Will Erwin Headache Research Fund funded the study published on Wednesday in the medical journal Neurology of the American Academy of Neurology.




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