REM sleep deprivation plays a role in chronic migraine

June 23, 2010

Reporting at the American Headache Society's 52nd Annual Scientific Meeting in Los Angeles this week, new research shows that sleep deprivation leads to changes in the levels of key proteins that facilitate events involved in the underlying pathology of migraine.

Paul L. Dunham, Ph.D. and his team at Missouri State University's Center for Biomedical & Life Sciences sought to understand the mechanisms by which sleep disturbance increases the risk of migraine and may even trigger migraine.

"Previous clinical data support a relationship between sleep quality and migraine," said Dr. Durham, "so we used an established model of to measure levels of proteins that lower the activation threshold of peripheral and central nerves involved in pain transmission during migraine. We found that REM deprivation caused increased expression of the proteins p38, PKA, and P2X3, which are known to play an important role in initiating and sustaining chronic pain."

"So little is known about the biological mechanisms that underlie how certain factors trigger a migraine attack," said David Dodick, M.D., president of the AHS. "This is important work and this Missouri State team should be applauded for beginning to shed light on an area desperately in need of investigation."

The work was supported by Merck & Co.

Explore further: Does migraine protect your memory?

Related Stories

Does migraine protect your memory?

April 23, 2007

Women with a lifetime history of migraine showed less of a performance decline over time on cognitive tests than women who didn’t have migraines. Researchers say medications for migraine, diet and behavior changes may ...

Migraine increases risk of severe skin sensitivity and pain

April 21, 2008

People with migraine are more likely to experience exacerbated skin sensitivity or pain after non-painful daily activities such as rubbing one’s head, combing one’s hair and wearing necklaces or earrings, compared to ...

Army personnel show increased risk for migraine

August 27, 2008

Two new studies show that migraine headaches are very common among U.S. military personnel, yet the condition is frequently underdiagnosed. The studies, appearing in Headache, the peer-reviewed journal of the American Headache ...

Study shows that exercise reduces migraine suffering

March 26, 2009

While physical exercise has been shown to trigger migraine headaches among sufferers, a new study describes an exercise program that is well tolerated by patients. The findings show that the program decreased the frequency ...

A primer on migraine headaches

February 16, 2010

Migraine headache affects many people and a number of different preventative strategies should be considered, states an article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). The article, a primer for physicians, outlines ...

Recommended for you

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...

Quantum Theory May Explain Wishful Thinking

April 14, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Humans don’t always make the most rational decisions. As studies have shown, even when logic and reasoning point in one direction, sometimes we chose the opposite route, motivated by personal bias or simply ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.