Is World’s Great Burden – A Migraine – Facing A Light At The End Of The Tunnel?

“Turn off the light…”

or “…close the door and leave me alone”, is frequently used sentence by roughly 12% of global population suffering migraine headaches.

This amazingly frequent neurological illness of undefined cause rates as the third most prevalent and 8th most disabling disease in the world. It usually affects people aged 25 to 55, women more often, but there is also a childhood form of illness.

 

Number of people affected by migraine are increasing every year

Worldwide, migraines strike roughly 12% of people at least once per year, with women roughly three times as likely as men to have an attack. Some percent of genetic predisposition is certain, but the precise mechanism, causes, and interaction among them remain unknown.

Usually described as severe pain on one or both sides of the head, accompanied with nausea, vomiting, visual or acoustic disturbances, abnormalities in senses and perception, followed by an aura or not. Migraine attacks last for few hours to several days, and the overall quality of these patients’ lives is crucially diminished. Nearly 90% of patients are dysfunctional during the attack and having migraine carries a risk of developing many other neurological or psychiatric diseases.

A vast number of migraine patients

Migraine has been a huge social and economic issue, but in spite thousands of researches and tested therapy methods, it remains mysterious to scientists.

Nearly 40 million people, kids included, in America suffer a severe headache and hope for the cure

If you walk into four households in the USA, you’ll find a migraine patient in one for sure. Most probably it will be a woman, since women. Emergency rooms across the country examine one patient reporting severe headache every 10 seconds, tough many migraine sufferers never ask medical help. Healthcare and costs of consequences of a migraine cost the USA roughly 40 billion dollars annually.

Taking all these facts into consideration, the announcement that recent study may stumble upon the method of easing migraine pain was broadly welcomed.

Researchers in Boston region experimented with light sensitivity

 The most disabling symptom in these patients is a mere headache, but it is common for a headache to be followed by photophobia – light sensitivity
.Photophobia triggers or worsens the pain and causes these patients to isolate themselves into dark and quiet rooms. Boston neurologist, Rami Burstein experimented with this symptom and exposed 69 brave participants to different parts of the light spectrum, expecting to hear light – provoked pain reported.

 

When exposed patients to red or blue light, that was the answer he got. All colors were increasing the pain following the rule – the brighter the light, the more intense the pain, except in the case of 530 nanometers green light. Intriguing results revealed that 20% of participants reported reduced symptoms and relieved pain when exposed to a narrow spectrum of moderate green light. The effect was similar to lying in a dark and quiet room.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center develops green light therapy

Surprising results of this research have opened many questions and offered material for further experiments. Burnstein’s medical institution launched a project where several reputable expert will try to construct light bulb that emits narrowed spectrum of green light, so as the practical sunglasses made of a material that filters all the other parts of the light spectrum, except green light.

The experiment is expensive and complex, but the positive outcome could dramatically ease everyday’s life of millions out there.

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