The finding of a genetic link between migraines and epilepsy have been all over the news since this article hit the mainstream media earlier this month. I have had a standing Google alert for “migraines and epilepsy” for quite some time now. Nothing was on the radar screen on the Internet until this study hit.
One of the learned would of course be me. I can say this because I’ve written a book on the integrative management of migraines and epilepsy (which is, unfortunately not the name of the book–my select members of a focus group nixed this title pretty quickly, leaving me with less dramatic: Migraines and Epilepsy; How to find relief, Live well and Heal your brain).
This is not the first time I’ve pointed out the links between migraines and seizures (as if my book, Migraines and Epilepsy wasn’t hint enough…) and it won’t be the last.
The reason I need to keep pointing it out is that mainstream medicine (neurologists included) don’t seem to see the association and consider them “comorbidities.” Comorbidities mean that they are occurring simultaneously and not necessarily related. Usually, comorbidities are medicated separately (because that’s how we “treat” everything in this country). Take diabetes and high blood pressure. Medicated separately. Heart disease and colon cancer. Separately.
Anyone with a neurological condition, whether anxiety, depression, epilepsy, migraines or MS, will tell you that symptoms wax and wane. But why?
While a common occurrence, it seems that few question why this is so. It is considered more as just a course of the condition. But what if the fluctuations of symptoms are not only explainable, but possibly controllable?
At it’s foundation, these two conditions share the same mechanism. I have personally known this for at least a decade, but the information seems to be taking a while to get out there. Which may seem strange because chronic migraine headaches and seizures are both within the realm of neurology. Indeed, over the past few years there has been increasing overlap between anti-seizure drugs being used to treat migraines (Topamax, for example). Taking this even further, anti-seizure medications like Depakote have also been used to treat certain psychological disorders like bipolar disorder.