February 19, 2020

The Debilitating Impact of Migraines and some Interesting Research Connections

As you probably know, migraine headaches can be very debilitating.  The cause of them is still debated in the medical community.  A study released in June, however, has found brain lesions in the brains of individuals who suffer from migraines.  Researchers looked closely at 4,600 men and women over 40 years of age.  These participants reported having experienced headaches at midlife.  They submitted to a brain scan decades after the onset of these headaches.  Researchers discovered brain lesions in many of the participants.  Among the women participants, the risk of brain lesions appeared to be higher for those women who experienced auras prior to a migraine.  The lesions were most prevalent in the cerebellum, the part of the brain responsible for sensory integration and motor control.

Some better news for migraine sufferers, particularly women, is also available.  A recent study indicates that women who experience migraines may be less likely to develop brain cancer.  The study was published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.  Scientists selected 9,000 women participants who had suffered from migraines.  These women were found to be 26% less likely to have had breast cancer.  The researchers believe this may have to do with changing hormone levels; migraines are known to occur after there are drops in estrogen levels.  More research is needed to better understand why those women who suffer migraines appear to have a smaller chance of developing breast cancer.

Migraines are a painful ailment.  If you experience migraines and are pursuing a Social Security Disability claim, then you know just how painful they can be.  There are various medications which have proven helpful.  It will help your disability claim if you can show the SSA that you have tried some specialized medications due to your migraines.

Additionally, the SSA may even look at your lifestyle choices in determining whether you are eligible for benefits. You want to portray yourself as someone who wants to help yourself.  Try exercising, avoiding certain “trigger foods,” etc. That way, if the Social Security Judge asks you what steps you have taken to improve your condition, you can genuinely describe the lifestyle changes you have made to try to minimize the debilitating impact of migraines.