Women who abide from migraines are 30% less believable to acquire breast cancer, investigators said yesterday.
They say the findings could point to Modern formulas of reducing a woman’s breast cancer chance.
Doctors consider the headaches is activated by lower levels of oestrogen and progesterone, hormones thought to drive tumour growth in the most common breast cancers.
The study, reported in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, looked at data from 3,412 post-menopausal women, 1,938 of whom had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
All the participants gave details of their migraine treatment history.
Dr Christopher Li, who led the team from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, said the results ‘point to a possible new factor that may be related to breast-cancer risk’.
Migraines, which can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and extreme sensitivity to light and noise, often strike when oestrogen levels fall due to the time of the month.
But during late pregnancy, when oestrogen levels are high, four out of five women who normally suffer the intense migraine headaches find that they clear up.
The U.S. research team looked at the histories of more than 3,000 women, nearly 2,000 of them with a history of breast cancer.
Dr Christopher Li, who led the study, said that women who get migraine symptoms ‘may have a chronically lower baseline estrogen’, adding: ‘That difference could be what is protective against breast cancer.’
‘This gives us a new avenue to explore the biology behind risk reduction. Hopefully this could help stimulate other ideas and extend what we know about the biology of the disease.’
The study, conducted by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle, is published in the specialist journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.
The study comes after research published earlier this year showed migraines may increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes in women.
Separate research has also suggested migraine sufferers could be more likely to be struck by blood clots in their veins.Read More
A skin patch can serve migraine sufferers avert expected fallouts – as well as allowing bigger pain relief of the migraine symptoms.
The patch holds sumatriptan, an drug which are presently applied in tablet form to treat the problem.
Today an American companionship has developed a patch that are as powerful as oral medicament but avoids the potential gastro-intestinal side-effects, such as nausea and vomiting.
A patch can also provide a constant and steady supply of medicine into the bloodstream, which might offer better relief.
Migraine treatment affects an estimated 10% of the United Kingdom population – mostly women – and results in around 18000000 lost working days every year.
Trials of the new patch are ongoing and the migraine headaches patch is likely to be available in the next year or so.
Migraine sufferers are now able to buy one of the most effective drugs for their condition direct from their chemist – without the need for a prescription.
Existing over-the-counter drugs can make an attack a bit more bearable, however, they can’t stop it. But Imigran Recovery (a version of the prescription drug sumatriptan), which goes on sale today, can stop a migraine in its tracks. This could make life easier for the six million people in the UK with this crippling condition ? many of whom will have access to this drug for the first time.
“About 50 per cent of people who get migraines never go to their doctor,” explains Dr Ann Gregory, of the City of London Migraine Clinic.
“They are often people who are otherwise healthy, so after they have been struck down by an attack they just never get round to seeing their GP.
“As a result, they have to rely on regular painkillers.”
An estimated 25 million working days a year are lost to migraine in the UK, costing £2 billion. Imigran works by raising the levels of the brain chemical serotonin; one theory is that migraines are caused by an expansion of the blood vessels in the brain. Serotonin helps to narrow blood vessels again.
Sumatriptan was one the first of a class of drugs known as triptans which emerged about 15 years ago. “It revolutionised treatment,” says Dr Gregory. “It allowed some patients to lead normal lives. But there are still lots of people who don’t have access to it or the other triptans. We’ve now got lot of clinical data about how sumatriptan works and we feel confident that, with appropriate safeguards, it is safe to make it more widely available.”
Not everyone was initially confident that making the drug available over the counter was a good idea.Read More
An injection created from liquid aspirin may be an effective modern treatment for migraine.
The dose is shot directly into the bloodstream besides swallowed.
For each injection holds an rich dosage of one gramme of aspirin, 10 times more then the amount most people would take to soothe an regular headache or joint pain.
Modern explore appearances pumping high dosages of liquid aspirin into the blood could break down pain in patients cut down by migraines that are and so severe they end up needing hospital treatment.
Doctors behind the study, carried out at the University of California in San Francisco, now hope the therapy can be used more widely to help thousands more sufferers with less severe migraine headaches.
It could also lead to substantial savings for the NHS, as aspirin costs around a third of the price of more expensive migraine pills, known as triptans.
The news of research into the aspirin jab comes as scientists have also discovered a faulty gene linked to the agonising condition.
Researchers from Oxford University found the gene, called TRESK, in families of sufferers. When it is mutated it can more easily trigger the brain’s pain centres and cause severe migraine headaches, says their report in the journal Nature Genetics.
Migraine affects around one in ten of the UK population, with women affected more than men.
Most people suffer with common migraine, which involves a severe throbbing headache, usually on one side of the head. Loss of appetite, nausea, constipation or diarrhoea are also common migraine symptoms.
Sitting in a quiet, darkened room can help sufferers cope with an attack and over-the-counter painkilling tablets such as paracetamol and ibuprofen can ease mild cases.
But for severe attacks, patients are given triptans, the more powerful prescription drugs that can be swallowed, injected or sprayed up the nose.
Triptans work by restoring the chemical balance in the brain disrupted by migraines.
Yet even these sometimes fail to curb the attacks.
Aspirin works by blocking production of enzymes called cycloxygenases. These are crucial for the release of prostaglandins, hormones that help send pain signals through the nervous system.
Injecting high doses stops this process – without the risk of stomach bleeding that comes with swallowing aspirin tablets. Liquid aspirin has been used as a migraine therapy for several years in some European countries, such as Germany.
But in the UK, it is given only to a small number of patients who receive it on a named patient basis – this is when a drug is used in a different way to that stipulated by its licence and the doctor bears legal responsibility if anything goes wrong.
Aspirin injections are a last resort for sufferers who have failed to respond to all other medications.
However, the latest research, published in the journal Neurology, suggests many more sufferers could benefit.
In the study, the migraine treatment was given to 168 patients aged from 18 to 75 who had been admitted to hospital for severe attacks made worse by medication overuse (many migraine sufferers develop a tolerance to their painkillers and gradually increase their medication; when they try to reduce their drug use, they develop severe withdrawal headaches).
Researchers gave these patients five doses of injected aspirin and measured their pain on a scale of one to ten.
Those scoring one to three had mild migraine headaches, four to seven were moderate and eight to ten severe.
As least 25% of the migraine treatment period, patients told they had a significant decline in pain – equivalent to a drop of three points on the ten point scale.
For a further 40%t of the treatment time they had a modest fall in pain – a drop of one to two points.
Research leader Professor Peter Goadsby, who is also a trustee of The Migraine Trust in the UK, said aspirin injections appear to be just as good as a commonly-used drug, called sumatriptan, in the treatment of acute migraine.
‘We hope to establish this inexpensive therapy more available to patients seeking treatment for severe pain,’ he said.
‘There are very good data from placebo-controlled trials that intravenous aspirin has a similar rate of success to six milligrams of injectable sumatriptan in acute migraine.’Read More
An pipe-like puffer device that blasts powderised medication up the nose may get you off the migraine pain in less than 2 hours.
The powder works faster than established oral drugs, as you do not have to wait for your body to digest them.
Migraines affect 1 in 4 female and 1 in 12 male in the United Kingdom.
Among the downsides of conventional oral treatments is that they can take up to half an hour for the first signs of relief. Trials of the new puffer show the drug reached the bloodstream in a few minutes — and nearly six out of ten patients who tested it were completely pain-free after two hours.
The drug used is a powdered form of triptan, a medicine widely used in pill form to treat migraine.
This is loaded into one end of the V-shaped puffer device which is inserted into one nostril — the other end of the device is put in the mouth.
When the patient exhales through the mouth, the powder is blown up the nostril. Here, it is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream via tiny blood vessels just below the surface on the inside of the nose.
From there it is quickly carried to the trigeminal nerve, one of the main nerves from the nose to the brain. The drug provides relief by blocking pain signals.
Triptan also appears to cause the blood vessels around the brain to contract — which is important as migraines are caused by the sudden dilation of these vessels, sometimes in response to triggers such as alcohol or stress.
The puffer device is specially designed so it deposits the powder on the rear surface of the nasal passage — the optimum site for treating migraines.
In a trial of the new device (which was developed by OptiNose), 54 per cent of men and women taking a 10mg dose and 57% of those given a 20mg dose did not have pain after just two hours.
Commenting on this, Dr Andrew Dowson, chairman of Migraine Action’s medical advisory board, said: ‘This is very clever technology which is a new way of delivering an established migraine drug. It works more effectively and more quickly, and has fewer side effects.
‘Oral drugs can take half an hour to start working, but with nasal delivery it can be in the blood in five minutes.’ Another potential new migraine treatment is inhaling carbon dioxide.
New research from the
United States. Indicates it could provide fast relief from migraine pain, without any serious side effects.
In one previous study at Harvard involving 160 migraine sufferers, 30% of those who would been given carbon dioxide comprised free from pain after just 2 hours, compared with 9% of those given a placebo.
It is not so far understood exactly how the carbon dioxide treatment acts, but men of science consider the gas interferes with the infection of pain signals along the trigeminal nerve.
Directly in a new clinical trial about 450 adult male* and adult female* with check to severe migraine conditions will be afforded the treatment to test its efficacy.
In the trial, being conducted at eight American centres, patients will be given a pen-like device loaded with the gas or a placebo.
If they feel a migraine advancing, they squirt a puff of the gas into one nostril, then hold their breath for a minute; this means the gas isn’t inhaled into the lungs, where they’re not required, just comes in one nostril from where it can pass into the trigeminal nerve before passing out of the other nostril.
The patients will have the device, which has been developed by U.S.-based Capnia Corporation, for two months and keep a diary of the number of migraines headaches and the severity of migraines symptoms before and after treatments.
n MIGRAINES in children and young people are being tackled with a powdered supplement.
The supplement holds an cocktail of compounds, including coenzyme Q10, blueberries, blackcurrant and magnesium, and are being applied in a test with kids and adolescents at the University of Essen in Germany.
The investigators say that migraine in young people could be associated with low levels of coenzyme q10, a compound created by nature in the body that supercharges energy, enhances the resistant system and acts like an antioxidant — fighting radicals which could cause cell harm in the body.
They consider that the supplement, called Migra3, can lower the chance of migraine’s crushing pain. ‘We consider that daily supplement of coenzyme Q10, together with different antioxidative chemicals from berries and specific minerals and vitamins, is capable to reduce the amount of days kids have migraines,’ they say.Read More