Migraines do not form part of the clinical features of multiple sclerosis. Medical researches indicate that people with multiple sclerosis have a higher likelihood of experiencing headaches such as migraines than others. The chances of people who have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis getting migraines are two to three times higher than the general population. However, no medical research has singled out headache as one of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis or if the same person's occurrence is coincidental.
Medical overlap between migraines and multiple sclerosis has been recognized since 1952. A study done in 1952 observed that two percent of the patients experienced migraines within the first three months of initial relapse of multiple sclerosis. The possibility of the links between multiple sclerosis and migraines has always been scanty.
The causes of MS and migraines are different, although the two share some common symptoms. Multiple sclerosis occurs when your myelin, the brain nerves protective cover, is attacked by your immune system. After the attack, a person experiences body weakness, tingling, persistent pain, and vision problems.
Scientists have not singled out the exact cause of migraines in a person. However, scientific theories suggest that body chemicals and hormones play a big part in migraines. Some of the common triggers of migraines in a person include:
The primary symptom of migraines is a severe headache. Other symptoms include nausea, body weakness, tingling, dizziness, and sometimes visual symptoms known as auras. Auras manifest by an unclear vision, which instead one sees spots, zigzag lines, or sparkles.
Many people, nearly twelve percent of the world's population, complain of migraines. However, people who have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis have twice more likely chances of having migraines and other head pains than others.
In some cases, migraines result from multiple sclerosis; however, the two conditions differ greatly in others. To better explain this, consider:
Scientific theories are explaining the link between multiple sclerosis and migraines. In one of the studies conducted, migraines were found to cause brain inflammation. There are higher risks of being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis as a result of brain inflammation. Another study indicated that migraines shift the levels of serotonin in the brain. The changing levels of serotonin increase the chances of multiple sclerosis.
Multiple sclerosis is not, in most cases, the direct cause of migraines. However, some aspects of multiple sclerosis tend to increase the likelihood of experiencing headaches or making head pains more painful. These aspects include:
Treatment of headaches is usually based on the cause. Doctors may prescribe fingolimod to multiple sclerosis patients as a Disease-modifying therapy. The medication may trigger migraines forcing the doctor to alter the dosage and seek an alternative prescription.
Some of the medications one can use to reduce the head pains severed by migraines include: