Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Smoking more than 5 cigarettes a day provokes migraine attacks

26.06.2009
Tobacco acts as a precipitating factor for headaches, specifically migraines.

This is indicated in a study which shows that smokers have more migraine attacks and that smoking more than five cigarettes a day triggers this headache. The work has appeared in the Journal of Headache and Pain.

The influence of tobacco as a precipitating, non-causal factor of migraine attacks has produced contradictory data in scientific literature. The limited research prior to the work published in The Journal of Headache and Pain indicated that smoking could improve migraines by reducing anxiety, one of the factors that triggers an attack.

"This study is groundbreaking in Spain as there are few studies on this topic, and all are very biased. This is due to the complexity and need for prior training of the participants", Julio Pascual, one of the authors of this research and doctor at the Neurology Unit of Marqués de Valdecilla, University Hospital (Santander), explains to SINC.

One advantage of this study is that the sample used, 361 medicine students from the University of Salamanca, were fully aware what a migraine was. The experts, who enquired about the presence or absence of migraine (and its characteristics) and whether or not they smoked, guaranteed the reliability of the results obtained, as most surveys for this type of study are done over the phone, randomly and in people without knowledge of the illness.

The results show that 16% of students fulfilled migraine criteria, while 20% smoked. The percentage of smokers was higher (29%) in those who were also migraine sufferers and migraine frequency in those students who were migraine sufferers and smokers was clearly higher than in those who were non-smokers and migraine sufferers.

According to Pascual, "smoking is a precipitating factor of this type of headache, as the prevalence of active smokers is one third higher in migraine sufferers and there is a direct relationship between the number of cigarettes consumed and the frequency of migraine attacks".

The researchers stressed the importance of the dosage. The results of the interviews reveal that the migraine sets in after five daily cigarettes. Furthermore, although the percentage of those who smoked was higher in people with migraines, they smoked less than those who did not suffer migraines.

"This is because they themselves knew that if they exceeded five cigarettes a day, they were more likely to have a migraine attack. The pain itself acts as a limiting factor", explains the neurologist, who maintains that "in no case should a migraine sufferer be advised to smoke thinking that it is going to improve their migraines. What's more, if you smoke a lot you should reduce the dose drastically".

90% of affected people self-medicate

"The supposed migraine cure ends up becoming its cause because of self-medication". Feliu Titus, an honorary member of the Spanish Neurological Society, explained last May in the paper Migraine treatment. The role of non-pharmacological methods, in Barcelona.

In Spain, this illness affects five million people and 2% of the population suffers attacks for more than 15 days a month. According to Titus, "more than 20% have never consulted a specialist". 90% of migraine sufferers self-medicate, without being aware of the risk that this entails. Anyone who suffers from migraines and abuses drugs ends up suffering adverse effects and a worsening of the illness due to a "rebound effect", according to specialists.

Chronic headaches are a separate illness and one of the most frequent chronic diseases. Although the causes are still not clear, in some migraine cases it is already demonstrated that there is a genetic basis. In fact, most patients with migraines have a history of it in their family.

"Nowadays it is believed that migraines are a state of hyperexcitability of the neurons that control headaches. Migraine sufferers are born with ion channels in the membrane of the neurons which are much more permeable and excitable. The brain of migraine sufferers is therefore able to link an attack with precipitating stimuli such as tobacco", Julio Pascual concludes.

To a large extent, the cause of this hyperexcitability has a genetic basis. In fact, some specific mutations are already known to be responsible for the hyperexcitabilty of these membrane ion channels.

References: L. López-Mesonero, S. Márquez, P. Parra, G. Gámez-Leyva, P. Muñoz y Julio Pascual. "Smoking as a precipitating factor for migraine: a survey in medical students". The Journal of Headache and Pain 10(2):101-103, abril de 2009.

SINC | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.plataformasinc.es

Further reports about: Smoking chronic disease genetic basis headache migraine pain

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

nachricht Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

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: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>