Migraine Treatment in San Antonio

About 12% of the Population Experiences Migraines

Migraines have been recognized as a medical condition for hundreds of years.  In the 5th century BC, the Greek physician Hippocrates wrote about a condition he called “hemikrania,” which is believed to describe a migraine.

In more recent times, the study of migraines has progressed significantly, and much has been learned about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of the condition. Today, migraines are considered both common and treatable, with many effective treatment options available to help manage the symptoms of migraines.

What are Migraines?

A migraine is a type of headache characterized by severe and recurring pain. Migraines can cause various symptoms, including throbbing or pulsing pain, sensitivity to light and sound, and nausea. Migraines are often accompanied by visual disturbances, such as flashing lights or blind spots, and can last for several hours or even days.

Migraines are a common condition, and it is estimated that about 12% of people in the United States experience migraines. Migraines are more common in women than men, and they tend to run in families, suggesting that genetics may play a role in developing the condition.

The exact cause of migraines is not fully understood, but they are thought to be related to changes in the brain and the blood vessels in the head. Factors that can trigger migraines include stress, changes in sleep patterns, certain foods and drinks, and hormonal changes.

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What Are the Symptoms of Migraines?

Migraines are a debilitating form of chronic pain. People that suffer from migraines recognize the onset immediately. The lifespan of this intense pain can be broken into four phases:

Prodrome

Sometimes, warning signs of a migraine attack will appear a day or two ahead. These signs can be:

  • Cravings
  • Stiffness in the neck
  • Challenging bowel movements
  • Significant mood changes like depression or euphoria
  • Increased thirst or feeling like you need to urinate
  • Repeated yawning

Aura

Auras are also known as revocable indicators of the nervous system. They are primarily visual but may include other disruptions. The symptoms start gradually, build for several minutes, and persist for 20 minutes to an hour. Here are some examples of migraine auras:

  • Visual cues – seeing bright spots, shapes, or flashes of light
  • Temporary loss of vision
  • Tingling sensations in the leg or arm
    Weakness or numbness in one side of the body or the face
  • Trouble speaking either words or whole sentences
    Hearing music or noises
    Unruly jerking or wild movements

Attack

Auras are also known as revocable indicators of the nervous system. They are primarily visual but may include other disruptions. The symptoms start gradually, build for several minutes, and persist for 20 minutes to an hour. Here are some examples of migraine auras:

  • Visual cues – seeing bright spots, shapes, or flashes of light
  • Temporary loss of vision
  • Tingling sensations in the leg or arm
  • Weakness or numbness in one side of the body or the face
  • Trouble speaking either words or whole sentences
  • Hearing music or noises
  • Unruly jerking or wild movements

Post-drome

People often report feeling exhausted, bewildered, and wiped out for a whole day following a migraine attack. Abrupt head movement can cause the pain to resurface.

The Science of Ketamine Treatment For Migraines

Recent evidence points to ketamine’s inhibitory effects on the NMDA receptor in the lateral habenula. The lateral habenula is a brain region primarily responsible for encoding negative rewards or anti-reward cause-and-effect relationships. As a non-competitive NMDA antagonist, ketamine prevents glutamate from activating the NMDA receptor, blocking pain.

The inhibition of the NMDA receptor may cause a build-up of free glutamate, which then activates the AMPA receptors. When surplus glutamate activates the AMPA receptor, it releases a brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) chemical. BDNF, in interaction with the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), promotes new neural growth. This new growth may reroute the brain from hyperactive areas associated with negative reward signals, providing long-term relief from migraines.

In short, ketamine blocks the neural excitation pathways likely responsible for migraine pain.

Getting Treatment

Migraines can be severe and debilitating and interfere with a person’s ability to function at work or school and their relationships with others. In addition, migraines can also affect a person’s physical health. For example, migraines can cause dehydration, fatigue, and difficulty sleeping, affecting a person’s overall health and well-being.

Seeking treatment for migraines can also prevent the condition from becoming more severe or chronic. Left untreated, migraines can become more frequent and severe, significantly impacting a person’s life. If you or someone you know suffers from migraines, Kairos can help. Now is the time! Contact us today.

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