Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Italian research links migraine and endometriosis

28.10.2004


Research published today (Thursday 28 October) in Europe’s leading reproductive medicine journal Human Reproduction[1] , has found evidence that women with endometriosis[2] are at higher risk of having migraine.



A team from the University of Genoa in Italy studied 133 women with endometriosis and a control group of 166 women, and found that the prevalence of migraine was significantly higher among the women with endometriosis. Double the number of women in the endometriosis group had migraine compared with the controls.

Although more women with endometriosis had migraine there was no evidence that they had more frequent attacks or more intense pain than the control women who had migraine, and there was no link either with the severity of the endometriosis. However, the researchers did find that age of onset of the migraine was lower in the endometriosis group – 16.4 years as opposed to 21.9.


The study, led by Dr Simone Ferrero, a research fellow and a specialist registrar at the Gynaecologic Department of the University of Genoa, involved women of reproductive age who were undergoing laparoscopy because of infertility, ovarian cysts, benign uterine tumours or pelvic pain. All the women who indicated that they had had at least one headache in the past year were referred to a specialist headache neurologist who performed a clinical interview and classified their headaches according to internationally accepted criteria.

Said Dr Ferrero: "In our population of women with endometriosis a third of the women suffered migraine (and over 13% experienced aura before the onset of the headache), which was significantly higher than we observed in the control group where only 15% suffered from migraine. Although we can’t rule out recall bias, the women with endometriosis reported a lower age at onset than the controls. But, our results did indicate that migraine severity was similar in women with and without endometriosis and was not related to the severity of the endometriosis either."

He said that an estimated 5% of women of reproductive age have endometriosis and somewhere between 15% and 19% of this age group in Europe and the USA have migraine. "In the light of the findings of the study, the two conditions together would be likely to affect around 2 in every 100 women of reproductive age."

The findings did raise some problems and concerns, Dr Ferrero said. "Women with migraine often do not seek appropriate care: for example, it has been reported that more than 4 in 5 patients who consult a physician about their headaches do not see a neurologist or headache specialist. Instead, they consult their primary care practitioner, which, for many women is their gynaecologist. In our study just over 27% of the women with endometriosis and 24% of the control patients had seen a headache specialist and this low rate of migraine assessment had resulted in low rates of specific treatment."

Dr Ferrero said that a gynaecologist must investigate headache carefully in all women with endometriosis but that headache classification should always be performed by a neurologist experienced in diagnosing migraine. "I believe all gynaecologists should always ask their patients with known or suspected endometriosis, ’do you suffer from headaches’? If they do, then a consultation with a neurologist should be advised. When endometriosis and migraine exist together each exerts a significant and independent negative effect on a woman’s quality of life, and pain and the associated symptoms of migraine can be greatly reduced with adequate diagnosis and treatment."

Dr Ferrero said that migraine, particularly migraine with aura, was known to be an independent risk factor for ischaemic stroke in women of reproductive age. Although the absolute risk of stroke was extremely low, it was important that women with endometriosis receiving hormonal treatments should have migraine investigated and diagnosed by a headache specialist as it may be prudent to change the treatment if the migraine developed, or increased, after hormone treatment started. For women needing contraception, combined injectable contraceptives, vaginal rings or progestin-only contraceptives should be the methods considered.

"We don’t really understand the link between the two conditions although some biochemical mediators have been implicated. It is possible that systemic spreading of prostaglandins produced by endometriosis may contribute to migraine and it has also been shown that upregulation or disregulation of nitric oxide synthesis has a role in both migraine and endometriosis. But the association between the two conditions requires further research."

[1] Increased frequency of migraine among women with endometriosis. Human Reproduction.
Doi: 10.1093/humnrep/deh537.

[2] Endometriosis is a painful and distressing condition in which endometrial tissue that under normal circumstances is found only in the lining of the womb, develops outside the uterus and attaches itself to ligaments and organs in the abdominal cavity. This tissue responds to the menstrual cycle as though it were still inside the uterus. The repeated growth and disintegration of endometrial tissue in the abdomen can cause bleeding, pain, inflammation, adhesions and infertility.

Margaret Willson | alfa
Further information:
http://www.mwcommunications.org.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks
08.12.2016 | Penn State

nachricht NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology
07.12.2016 | Nanyang Technological University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Closing the carbon loop

08.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Applicability of dynamic facilitation theory to binary hard disk systems

08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>