Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Could A Heart Defect Cause Certain Migraines?

Date:
April 20, 2007
Source:
Thomas Jefferson University
Summary:
Researchers of the heart and headaches at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital are combining efforts to determine if a common heart defect may be the cause of some forms of migraine headaches.

Researchers of the heart and headaches at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital are combining efforts to determine if a common heart defect may be the cause of some forms of migraine headaches.

Related Articles


Investigators from the Jefferson Heart Institute and the Jefferson Headache Center are enrolling participants in a blinded study to determine if closing a Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO), a small hole or flap that can allow blood to flow between the right and left sides of the heart, can stop migraines. In newborns, the PFO closes at or shortly after birth, but in 20 percent of adults the gap remains open to some degree.

More than 28 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches. Debilitating migraine headaches cause major disruption in individual’s lives and cost billions of dollars in lost work, school and medical treatment each year. More than one quarter of the people who struggle with migraines have the heart defect.

Most people who have a PFO are never screened for it because doctors rarely suspect it of causing health problems but new evidence suggests that individuals with PFO are more susceptible to migraine. This susceptibility is believed to be due to the passage of material from the right side of the heart to the left side of the heart via the PFO. Blood and material that travels through the PFO is not filtered or oxygenated and in this form may travel to the brain, which can trigger the changes in the blood vessels that underlies migraine.

“Strokes, for example are sometimes triggered when blood clots passing through the PFO travel to the brain,” said one of the study’s primary investigators, David Fischman, M.D., Co-Director of the Cardiac Catherization Laboratory at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, and Associate Professor of Medicine, Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University.

“Up until now cardiologists have told us that patients with migraine get better when they have their PFO closed for other reasons,” said Stephen Silberstein, M.D., director of the Jefferson Headache Center, the study’s other primary investigator.

“We need to be able to prove that closure of a PFO by itself will actually diminish migraines,” said Dr. Silberstein, Professor of Neurology, Jefferson.

In this study, participants will be randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group will undergo a minimally-invasive procedure to close their PFO. An interventional cardiologist will insert a catheter into the heart and release a device which will form a seal around the PFO to prevent the incorrect blood flow. Typically, the procedure lasts one to two hours under local anesthesia.

The other group will not have their PFO closed but will undergo a procedure that only mimics the closure and will continue medical therapy for their migraines. But none of the participants will know to which group they have been assigned to. However, all participants will receive the same post-operative care and will leave the hospital within 24 hours.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Thomas Jefferson University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Thomas Jefferson University. "Could A Heart Defect Cause Certain Migraines?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070419212654.htm>.
Thomas Jefferson University. (2007, April 20). Could A Heart Defect Cause Certain Migraines?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070419212654.htm
Thomas Jefferson University. "Could A Heart Defect Cause Certain Migraines?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070419212654.htm (accessed March 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) While distracted driving is not a new problem for teens, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says it&apos;s much more serious than previously thought. (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) European researchers say our smartphone use offers scientists an ideal testing ground for human brain plasticity. Dr Ako Ghosh&apos;s team discovered that the brains and thumbs of smartphone users interact differently from those who use old-fashioned handsets. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Newsy (Mar. 24, 2015) According to a new study by the Alzheimer&apos;s Association, more than half of those who have the degenerative brain disease aren&apos;t told by their doctors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

Newsy (Mar. 23, 2015) Researchers found those who napped for 45 minutes to an hour before being tested on information recalled it five times better than those who didn&apos;t. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins