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New Study Links Migraines and Heart Disease

A new study from Denmark has found that migraine sufferers are more likely to develop cardiovascular problems such as heart attack, stroke, atrial fibrillation and blood clots. The research, published in the British Medical Journal, a weekly peer-reviewed publication and one of the world’s oldest medical journals, looked at a large subject base over an extended period of time.

Just over 51,000 people with migraines and 510,320 without migraines were studied for 19 years. At the beginning of the study, the average age of the participants was 35 years; 71 percent were women, as migraines are more common in women than in men. Risks for heart disease were small in the beginning of the study, as the participants were relatively young, but by the end of the study, those with migraines had a 49 percent increase in the risk of heart attack and stroke and a 59 percent increase in the risk for blood clots.

What We Know About Migraines

It’s surprising that with all the advances in modern medicine and technology, there’s still so little known and understood about migraines, said David Buck, DDS, who treats migraines with SPG blocks at his practice near Seattle, Washington.

"While the triggers associated with migraines are somewhat understood, the cause of them is still a mystery," he said. "The difference in the two is that the cause is what makes someone susceptible to suffering from migraines in the first place, while the trigger is what causes a specific episode."

The list of potential migraine triggers is long and varies from person to person. Things like hormonal changes, diet, stress, changes in sleeping patterns and dehydration are some of the most common and widely experienced.

SPG Block Provides Relief from Migraine Symptoms 

Identifying triggers and attempting to avoid them is the best way to prevent migraines. However, sometimes there’s simply no way to avoid them, and when a migraine strikes it can be debilitating. An SPG block, which stands for sphenopalatine ganglion block, numbs a cluster of nerves at the back of the nose and can eliminate migraine pain immediately for some.

"We believe one of the keys to migraines is the trigeminal central sensory nucleus in the brain," Buck said. "The SPG block directly addresses this connection and can help migraine sufferers get immediate relief along with up to three months of reprieve."


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