Migraine sufferers more prone to hangover headache

Oct 19, 2009

Migraine sufferers, beware. You may be more prone to an alcohol-induced headache after a night of drinking, according to researchers from the Jefferson Headache Center. The research will be presented at Neuroscience 2009, the Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, in Chicago.

Until now, studying the mechanism behind migraine and other forms of recurrent headaches has not been possible in an , according to Michael Oshinsky, Ph.D., assistant professor of Neurology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, and a member of the Jefferson Center team. In order to facilitate the study of migraine, Dr. Oshinsky developed a rat model in which headaches are induced by repeatedly stimulating, over weeks to months, the brain's dura mater with an inflammatory mixture.

Dr. Oshinsky and Christina Maxwell, a Ph.D. student in the Neuroscience program at the Jefferson College of Graduate Studies, used their to study the effects of on rats who suffer recurrent migraines, compared to rats that do not get headaches. They analyzed four groups of rats: two groups received repeated dural simulation, followed by an oral ingestion of saline or alcohol (the equivalent of one to two shots of liquor). Two control groups received no inflammatory stimulation, and received the similar oral ingestion of saline or alcohol.

Migraine headaches are associated with hypersensitivity to light, sound and light touch on the head and face. The researchers measured the rats' sensitivity to touch around the eye, using von Frey monofilaments. They monitored the change in pain threshold of the face resulting from the repeated dural stimulation.

The rats that received dural stimulation followed by alcohol showed an initial analgesic effect within the first two hours after alcohol ingestion. However, four to six hours later, their pain sensitivity increased, indicating a more painful state. There were no changes in alcohol-induced sensitivity in the control groups.

"Our results suggest that dehydration or impurities in alcohol are not responsible for hangover headache," Dr. Oshinsky said. "Since these rats were sufficiently hydrated and the alcohol they received contained no impurities, the alcohol itself or a metabolite must be causing the hangover-like headache. These data confirm the clinical observation that people with migraine are more susceptible to alcohol-induced headaches."

Dr. Oshinsky and his laboratory are now also studying the mechanism for the induction of headache, and also the metabolites of alcohol that cause hangover.

Source: Thomas Jefferson University (news : web)

Explore further: 'Trigger' for stress processes discovered in the brain

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Migraine increases risk of severe skin sensitivity and pain

Apr 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 ...

Study shows that exercise reduces migraine suffering

Mar 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 ...

Scientists identify protein that may promote migraines

Mar 08, 2007

A University of Iowa study may provide an explanation for why some people get migraine headaches while others do not. The researchers found that too much of a small protein called RAMP1 appears to "turn up the volume" of ...

Portable device effective in zapping away migraine pain

Jun 26, 2008

novel electronic device designed to "zap" away migraine pain before it starts has proven to be the next form of relief for those suffering from the debilitating disease, according to a study conducted at The Ohio State University ...

Recommended for you

'Trigger' for stress processes discovered in the brain

2 hours ago

At the Center for Brain Research at the MedUni Vienna an important factor for stress has been identified in collaboration with the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm (Sweden). This is the protein secretagogin ...

New research supporting stroke rehabilitation

Nov 26, 2014

Using world-leading research methods, the team of Dr David Wright and Prof Paul Holmes, working with Dr Jacqueline Williams from the Victoria University in Melbourne, studied activity in an area of the brain ...

User comments : 0

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.