Migraines and Blue Stuff...

Patient Expert

This past week, while keeping updated on Migraine and headache news, I came across some interesting information I thought I'd share with you. In fact, I was able to snack on M&M's (no, chocolate is usually not a trigger for me) while I was  writing this.

Researchers at the University of Rochester in New York completed a study on Brilliant Blue G (BBG) and its effects on rats with injured spinal cords. The short version goes along these lines - the injured rats were injected with large amounts of BBG (very similar to FDC Blue No. 1), and the rats were able to walk again, although they did have a limp. There was one problem with this study. The rats turned blue!

BBG works like this - scientists believe the  blue dye blocks the chemical adenosine triphosphate (ATP) action that is partly responsible for causing inflammation in the spinal cord after injury. BBG passes through the blood-brain barrier going into the spinal cord, which is imperative for BBG to work. OK, what does that have to do with Migraine treatment? Apparently, some people drink blue sports drinks and use epsom salts with blue food coloring to help with their Migraines, which I've never heard of. Lamictal, amitriptyline, and Paxil are medications that can be used for Migraine prevention, and at certain doses, are blue. ** Treximet**, a new abortive, is also blue, so maybe there is something to this blue dye. Things with blue dye  helping a Migraine.....ummm.

Ok, so let's say, hypothetically, that ATP has some action in the Migrainous process. An      action that may imply, from the study, that BBG would block ATP, and therefore be helpful in treating a Migraine. So, how much BBG would we have to consume before we turn blue to get rid of our Migraine? Would just one bag of blue M&M's do it? What about the chocolate in the M&M's? Would** Skittles** work just as well? And here is  a really interesting thought - Maybe Migraine disease would no longer be invisible.



Staff Reporter. "Food dye 'may ease spinal injury'." BBC.com News. July 28, 2009.

Devlin, Hannah. "Food dye 'may help cure spinal injuries but will turn patients blue'." TimesOnline. July 28, 2009.

Devlin, Hannah. "Why blue M&M's could help relieve your migraine." ScienceCentral. TimesOnline.  July 30, 2009.