Research Pinpoints The Link Between Migraine Headaches And Motion Sickness

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Brain News

Researchers at the American Academy of Neurology revealed how virtual roller coaster rides trigger dizziness and headaches in migraine sufferers. The study is published in the journal Neurology.

The Study

The researchers examined 40 people; half of the group had migraines, and the other half did not. fMRI scans were used to record the participants’ brain activity as they watched videos of virtual roller coaster rides. Afterward, the participants were asked to fill out questionnaires about their perceived levels of balance problems, dizziness and motion sickness.

The Findings

The results revealed that 65% of people with migraine headaches experienced dizziness, in comparison to the 30% of people without migraines. The former group also reported greater intensity and durability of the symptoms associated with migraines and motion sickness.

The researchers inferred that people with headache disorders (like migraine) and motion sickness have increased blood flow and brain activity in some areas of the brain (such as the middle frontal gyrus, the pontine nuclei, etc.) related to visual processing and motor activity.

These abnormal processes correlate to the abnormal transmission of visual, auditory, and sensory information within the brain and enhance the susceptibility to migraine disability and motion sickness.

Towards Interventions

The researchers are enthusiastic that the study can help formulate interventions and treatment plans that address the debilitating impacts of headaches, migraines, and motion sickness.

One of the lead researchers, Arne May, elaborated: “By identifying and pinpointing these changes, our research could lead to a better understanding of migraine which could, in turn, lead to the development of better treatments.”

To Know More You May Refer To

Carvalho, G. F., Mehnert, J., Basedau, H., Luedtke, K., & May, A. (2021). Brain Processing of Visual Self-Motion Stimuli in Patients With Migraine: An fMRI Study. Neurology, 97(10), e996–e1006. https://doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000012443

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