Migraine, Inflammation and Gut Bacteria

There was an article in Quartz this week about research, just published, showing that migraine is likely an inflammatory illness, not one of the central nervous system as it is currently classified.[i]

Researchers at the University of Chicago found that migraine was genetically correlated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and environmentally correlated with urethritis (which is inflammation of the urethra) and cystisis (which is inflammation of the bladder).   That is, the study suggests that classifying diseases based solely on their symptoms leads to missed correlations between illnesses.

Not much of a surprise to my regular readers.  I’ve mentioned before, for example, that there is a strong relationship between depression and anxiety, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Basically, the researchers confirm that migraine is “associated with general, not nervous system-specific, inflammatory processes and can possibly be mitigated with some of the treatments that have been developed for inflammatory diseases.”

By the way, it’s also not news that migraine is associated with alterations of the gut bacteria.  Back in 2016, an article was published by researchers at the University of San Diego which “…identified a difference in the levels of specific bacteria in the mouth, throat and gut of patients who suffer from migraine.  Compared to healthy participants, migraine sufferers were found to have higher levels of the bacteria that convert nitrates into nitric oxide in the blood, which can lead to headaches.”[ii]

So there it is again – those pesky bacterial microbiome alterations!

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[i] https://qz.com/1048226/big-data-may-open-up-new-avenues-of-migraine-research/

[ii] http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/migraines-could-be-caused-by-gut-bacteria-study-suggests-1.3128342


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