Why women have more migraines than men.

Cortical spreading depression thresholds differ.
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 6 (UPI) — Women may have a faster trigger than men for activating the waves of brain activity thought to underlie migraines, a U.S. study found.

Dr. Andrew Charles and Dr. Kevin C. Brennan and colleagues at the University of California at Los Angeles used a mouse model to discover the difference between males and females with regard to cortical spreading depression, which is thought to be a chief culprit in causing migraines.

Migraines were once thought to be caused by constriction and dilation of blood vessels, but neuroimaging techniques have shown migraines may begin as a problem of brain excitability.

Patients with migraines show cortical spreading depression, which may in turn trigger not only the pain of migraine but the visual symptoms, nausea, dizziness and difficulty concentrating.

Female mice showed a significantly lower threshold for cortical spreading depression when compared with males found the study published in the Journal of Headache and Pain.
Some 18 percent to 25 percent of women suffer from migraines — a 3-to-1 ratio with men, the researchers said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International.

Source: Science Daily

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