The Science Journal of the Lander College of Arts and Sciences

Article Title

Migraine Triggers


Adina Jeidel


Migraines are a painful and life-interrupting disease which strikes around 23 million Americans every year (Goadsby et al., 2017). Not enough studies have been done to help the public fully understand migraines. Details regarding the causes and pathophysiology of migraines continue to be analyzed by physicians and scientists, as no theory has been fully confirmed regarding a migraine’s concrete path. The goal of this scientific review is to provide an overview for the main triggers of migraines, in reference to recent clinical investigations, and to understand why they might cause patients to be more prone to having a migraine attack upon encountering these triggers. Additionally, topics including the uncertainty whether migraineurs should avoid their triggers or learn to live with them, and the pathophysiology behind the triggers will be explored in this review. Some physicians suggest staying away from known triggers, while others say to allow one’s self to be exposed, as a means of getting the sensitized central nervous system (CNS) used to the triggers and to make the CNS aware that these stimuli are, in essence, not harmful. Migraines have been affecting people’s lives for over two thousand years and are said to be the 6th leading cause of disability, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) (Goadsby et al., 2017). Of the 23 million Americans that suffer from migraines, women are predominantly affected (Silberstein et al., 1999). The ratio of 3:1 women versus men getting migraines is most likely due to hormonal changes and leads to an understanding of the reason migraines usually begin in females at puberty and can last until the age of 35-45, according to the WHO. Migraineurs claim that their daily lives are impacted by their frequent migraines, with 50% of them having 1 or more migraines per month (Silberstein et al., 1999)



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