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  14 October 2015
  Dr. Paul Koeck
 

Causes migraine are not yet all known. On top of this, it is difficult to link all causes migraine to each other. Still, there already are some known factors which can be causes migraine.

For example, we know that migraine has to do with your genetic predisposition. If someone in your family suffers migraine, chances therefore are larger that you will also have migraine. Migraine can thus be passed on from parent to child. It is also known that a specific neurological process takes place in the brain. People, who thought that migraine is a psychological illness, thus are mistaken. There is a definite physical process going on, which means migraine can be categorized as a physical illness.

Causes migraine: a neurological process?

There thus definitely is a neurological process at play in the development of migraine. Migraine does not feel like a normal headache, because it is a neurovascular headache. This means that a migraine attack is caused by a neural stimulus, which makes it so that the blood vessels widen. This widening has the consequence that you start feeling pain, and that your nervous system becomes more alert. The causes migraine thus lie in the blood vessels expanding here, which has the consequence of sending pain signals to the central nervous system. Research used scans to show the activation of the brain stem in the case of a migraine attack.

Despite this convincing proof, finding causes migraine here, too, is difficult. One can namely not explain how the pain develops, considering that the brain tissue hardly contains any pain sensors. How the pain then is delivered or experienced in the brain is a mystery.

Causes migraine: hereditary predisposition?

Hereditary predisposition, too, forms one of the causes migraine. As mentioned earlier, chances increase to get migraine if one of your family members also suffers from migraine. Especially close family members have larger chances of getting migraine with aura, if this family member also has a migraine with aura. First degree family members are family members who are directly linked to you, such as parents, brothers, or sisters. If one of these first-grade family members experiences a migraine without aura, this increases chances of both migraine with and without aura.

Causes migraine: blood circulation and inflammations?

Other sources consider a disrupted blood circulation and inflammation to be main causes migraine. For example, migraine patients suffer a lot from a hypersensitive blood circulation. This theory, too, is mapped out through spasms of veins in the brain and vasodilatation of smaller veins found around the skull. Previous factors would then be the causes of the headache.

The vasodilatation, which is caused in the smaller veins, also bring along certain substances, which in turn are linked to inflammations. These inflammations would cause the pain, which you experience in a migraine attack.

Causes migraine: psychological causes?

Except for physical causes there also are different psychological causes migraine known. For example, emotions and stress have a large effect on the development of migraine and migraine attacks. The link between hypersensitive blood vessels and stress and emotions cause a bad response. When someone is exposed to this bad response, their blood platelets start to stick together. This in turn causes an overdose of serotonin, which causes the spasms in the head.

Causes migraine: menstruation?

Menstruation is one of the most well-known causes migraine. In about 60% of women who experience migraine, menstruation is a risk factor of migraine. The attacks usually take place just before the experiencing of menstruation or during the menstruation. Why does a menstruation trigger migraine? Different researches placed the reduction in estrogen as a likely cause.

Some people have the belief that migraine reduces after a woman has gone through the menopause. This belief, however, is not entirely correct. In 25% of cases, migraine even worsens. In about 50% of women there is no noticeable difference. Pregnancy, on the other hand, has a positive effect on the amount of migraine attacks which you experience.

Causes migraine: tired eyes?

Have you sometimes already noticed that you get migraine after watching TV or reading a book for a long time? Tired eyes are also one of the causes migraine. Because the muscles in your eyes are tensed intensively for a long period of time, a migraine can be caused. It thus is not smart to put a lot of strain on your eyes by sitting by the computer all day, or doing similar activities.

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