Vitamin key to treating migraines
SOMETHING as simple as vitamin supplements could change the lives of hundreds of thousands of migraine sufferers, according to researchers.
Scientists from Griffith University in Queensland are close to a new treatment for severe headaches which consists of vitamin B and folate supplements.
Griffith postdoctoral researcher Bridget Maher said the remedy would help the 20 per cent of migraine sufferers whose condition is genetic. ''It basically reduces the frequency and severity of the migraines,'' she said.
One in five people prone to migraines have an enzyme that does not work as well as in other people, she said. ''By supplementing them with vitamin B and folate you can get around that enzyme's defect.''
Migraines linked to genetics are also associated with auras, which refers to the experience of temporary neurological disturbances such as seeing stars, getting pins and needles and numbness.
The team at Griffith is working on the dose of the supplements and Ms Maher says the treatment could be on the market in the next few years. Some people do not respond to migraine remedies so the new research could significantly help those with a genetic predisposition to the condition.
Twelve per cent of the population suffers from severe headaches, which can last up to three days and make people painfully sensitive to light and sound. Women are three times more likely than men to suffer migraines. Researchers are seeking Australian women between 18 and 65 to participate in trials.