9/10/07 #3 - If you have one migraine, are you more susceptible to the next one, and trigger easier?

Ask the Clinician Health Pro
  • Full Question:
    I have always been wondering, because it seems to be the case for me, if you have one migraine, are you more susceptible to the next one, and trigger easier? Then if you go awhile without one, do you build a stronger threshold and not trigger so easily? Mary.





    Dear Mary;


    This is an excellent question and one without any kind of intelligent answer presently. Certainly, we think of migraines as a form of electrical "kindling" in the brain but how that translates into more migraines or fewer migraines after one has occurred is a quest worthy of the Nobel Prize.


    There is a basic concept which we call central sensitization and is being applied to migraines. This involves an easier ability of the central nervous system to pass along painful signals coming from facial, scalp, and neck structures. Once the central nervous system is barraged with painful impulses, it changes its ability to process pain. Less of a painful impulse is now able to be processed by the spinal cord and higher structures. Therefore, one could argue that the concept of transformation from episodic to chronic daily migraines is on the basis of central sensitization and other neuronal mechanisms. This could explain why it may be easier to have more migraines in short order, once a severe headache has occurred.

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    Just a theory; stay tuned, things are changing in the headache world.


    Good luck,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert


    If you need to find a headache and Migraine specialist, please see our listing of patient recommended specialists.



    About Ask the Clinician:

    Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert.


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    © Teri Robert and J.C. Krusz, 2007.

Published On: September 09, 2007