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Headache-Adviser Newsletter, Issue #010- Hunting For Cells That Trigger Migraine
September 29, 2008

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First things first..I am currently working on an update for my website so check in during the next few weeks. Although I started this site with NO computer skills, over the last year I have learned a thing or two, so I am launching myself into the world of HTML coding. The new site has the same color scheme but be a bit more professional looking... visit the home page to see how I am doing!

This year, Dr. Dan Levy has been researching a certain type of cell in the brain that may be linked to migraine. Through the National Headache Foundation, his research seems to indicate that mast cells may be involved.

These are cells that are found throughout the body and release histamine as an inflammatory response. If histamine is released near nerve endings it causes pain and theoretically could start the "cascade" that leads to migraine.

Previous research has shown that infusion of a histamine substance can trigger a migraine-like headache. I should point out that this does not occur in all migraineurs, but would make sense in that when I give Benadryl (anti-histamine) by IV to some patients, it breaks a severe migraine.

Dr. Levy also noted that the mast cells not only activate pain neurons but are then re-activated themselves by the same pain neurons..that would account for the continued pain that lasts for hours and hours. Again..a cycle that keeps going around and around.

As we keep identifying new sources for headache pain..we can then find treatment.

Here's To Headache Free Days

Take care..

Mary Kay Betz, MS RPA-C
Physician Assistant

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