Monday, November 26, 2007

migraine news roundup 49

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According to a study published in the November issue of the journal Neurology, the brain's cortex is thicker in people with migraines than in other people. This is big news insofar as it supports treating migraine disease as a neurological condition.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Brain Differences Detected in Migraine Sufferers

The somatosensory cortex -- the area of the brain that detects sensations like pain, touch and temperature in various parts of the body -- was 21 percent thicker in the people who got migraines compared to those who did not.

The biggest difference was in the part of the cortex responsible for processing sensory information from the head and face, Dr. Nouchine Hadjikhani of Massachusetts General Hospital, who led the study, said in a telephone interview.

Hadjikhani said the study illustrated the seriousness of the migraine. "It has to be taken seriously because it can induce changes in your brain," she said.

The FDA has approved the antipsychotic drug Abilify for use in treating depression when combined with an antidepressant.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket FDA Oks Abilify for Depression

Swedish researchers have determined that kicking back in light and sound proof salt water tanks is an effective method of relieving pain and reducing stress.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Floating Effective for Stress and Pain
Those who took part in the research project all had some form of stress-related pain, and after only twelve treatments in the floating tank, their condition improved.

Through relaxing in floating tanks, people with long-term fibromyalgia, for instance, or depression and anxiety felt substantially better after only twelve treatments. Relaxing in a weightless state in the silent, warm floating tank activates the body's own system for recuperation and healing. The stress hormone decreases, as does blood pressure.

Three studies published in the November 2007 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition support the notion that eating foods Omega-3 provides health benefits.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket More Evidence Suggests the Benefits of Omega-3 and Eating Fish
A handful of studies recently published tout the benefits of omega 3 fatty acids, which are most commonly found naturally in fish. The studies found that omega 3 may improve brain and memory performance as we age. Additional research suggests that curvier women and their children are more intelligent than their less-curvier counterparts, which the researchers suggest may be due to omega 3 as well.

Increasing resistance to pain medication is something most people in chronic pain can easily relate to. Researchers think they are on the trail of a way of preventing the need for larger and larger doses of pain killers for people in chronic pain.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Breaking the Cycle of More Pain, More Drugs
[R]esearchers at St. Louis University have figured out how to prevent tolerance to morphine and other opiate narcotics. The discovery could lead to relief for many patients who have watched their dosages increase several times over, yet still suffer from severe pain.
Using an animal model, the scientists discovered a substance interfering with the delivery of morphine. They found that repeated doses caused peroxynitrite to develop in the spinal cord, which in turn caused inflammation and damage to proteins and DNA in that area.

They also found that by manipulating the peroxynitrite they could prevent the patient from developing a morphine tolerance. This could be accomplished by giving the patient a combination of two drugs at once: the morphine and a drug to prevent the buildup of peroxynitrite.

A fantastic program in some farming states offers confidential support to farmers dealing with extremely hard times.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Mental Health Hot Lines Help Farmers

Rural farming families face several obstacles to getting mental and emotional help in times of crisis, says Kathy Bosch, extension specialist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Bosch has studied Nebraska panhandle farmers and ranchers who are now in their eighth year of drought.

"There has been a stigma attached to asking for help," Bosch said. "Some of them were very leery or cautious to ask for help."

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Content by Diana E. Lee.