Women and Migraines: Hormones Are Key


More women than men are affected by migraine because of their sex hormones, particularly estrogen, suggest results of a comprehensive review in which researchers from Miguel Hernández University of Elche in Spain analyzed decades of medical literature.

According to the Spanish researchers, sex hormones affect the area around the trigeminal nerve (the fifth cranial nerve, which is responsible for sensations in the face) and the blood vessels in the head associated with this nerve, causing migraine headaches. These hormones are at their highest levels in women of reproductive age. Research suggests that some sex hormones, like testosterone, protect against migraines, and others, such as prolactin (which promotes lactation), make them worse.

More studies are needed to better understand the complex role of estrogen and other hormones in causing migraines. A better understanding of migraines can be expected to lead to more personalized treatments for this painful, often debilitating condition.

Sourced from: Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences