Mitochondrial Dysfunction Leads To Neurodegenerative Disorders

Efficacy of coenzyme Q10 in migraine prophylaxis

Almost a 50% response with taking 300 mg CoQ10 per day.  Not too shabby.  This is yet another notch in the “mitochondrial dysfunction leads to neurodegenerative disorders” belt. 

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Oxidative Stress Increases Number Of Heart Defects

Congenital heart defects and maternal biomarkers of oxidative stress

Wow. Practically by the week we are finding more and more studies linking interuterine environment and risk of chronic diseases later in the newborn’s life.

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Natural Remedies for Seizures: Antioxidant Protection

In my book, Migraines and Epilepsy, I review the evidence that shows that oxidative stress plays a huge role in seizures.  Because of this, antioxidants are a requirement in natural remedies for seizures.

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Causes Of Migraines To A Mitochondrial Dysfunction

CoQ10 Deficiency and Response to Supplementation in Pediatric and Adolescent Migraine

Given that we have shifted our thinking of the cause of migraines to a mitochondrial dysfunction / oxidative stress model, the results of this study should come as no surprise. I still find it very bothersome, though, that we have so many patients being treated for migraines under a “pain control only” model without any thought to fixing the underlying mechanism.

The problem here is that oxidative stress leads to so many other chronic diseases that the patient and doctor just missed an opportunity to change the health trajectory away from one of chronic disease.

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To Treat Migraine Change Your Global Lifestyle

Migraine and coronary heart disease mortality: a prospective cohort study

The bottom line is that migraine is a systemic disorder, most likely a result of altered mitochondrial function and / or oxidative stress. These dysfunctions are not limited to the brain, but rather have an effect everywhere in the body, playing a role in most, if not all, chronic diseases.

So, if this is the case, then finding increases in other diseases like heart disease should be no big surprise. So, the ONLY best way to approach migraine treatment is to look at the entire patient and make global lifestyle changes to improve the way their neurons are functioning.

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Migraines Are Strongly Related To Oxidative Stress

Platelet membrane fluidity and peroxynitrite levels in migraine patients during headache-free periods

Two things to mention here.  First, we are seeing a sustained movement towards the concept that migraines, just like the seizures that clinicians are not yet willing to throw in the same category, is strongly related to oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction.

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Migraine Occurs In Patient With Right-To-Left Shunt

Right-to-left shunt and migraine: the strength of the relationship

This one has been a hot topic with the cardiologists lately. A whole new set of patients to perform procedures on. However, I do not feel that we have all the questions answered yet. Here is the scenario…it was found that a large number of patients in whom the opening between the right and left ventricles in the heart had never closed (in the fetus, the lungs aren’t used so the blood bypasses the lungs via this hole) had migraine headaches. In some cases, these headaches resolved when the hole was surgically closed. So here’s some additional thoughts/concerns.

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Migraine Causes Dysfunctions In The Entire Body

Prevalence of unexplained upper abdominal symptoms in patients with migraine

Looking at recent literature on migraines, it becomes evident that we are approaching treatment from the completely wrong angle. Migraines are slowly being recognized as manifestions of dysfunction in the entire body. Oxidative stress. Toxin overload. Mitochondrial dysfunction. The medications used to treat migraines in no way address these factors. The best approach to migraines involves lifestyle changes to impact the systemic problem. If uncorrected, migraine patients have a higher risk of stroke and neurodegenerative disorders.

This article supports the systemic links w/ migraine, suggesting that migraineurs have higher likelihood of having digestive complaints.

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Migraine And Atral Defects

Migraine With Aura Related to Closure of Atrial Septal Defects

While this is only a case report, and we generally do not allow single case studies to change clinical approaches, this one brings up an important consideration.  Research is starting to show a link between heart defects and migraines.  Many patients find relief of their migraines when the hole in the heart is closed.  But this is a case study of a patient that experienced a drastic increase in the frequency of her migraines after closure-a procedure that should show the opposite effect.

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Migraine May Increase Angina And Coronary Heart Disease

Another chapter in the continuing saga of oxidative stress and migraines. Previously, we have seen that fixing heart defects that may have lowered the level of oxygen getting to the brain helping with migraines. We have seen some of the migraine medications actually having antioxidant effects. Now we see a relationship with migraines and angina. There is a condition out there called cardiac syndrome X (not to be confused with plain ole’ syndrome X/hypersinsulinemia) that the research points to being related to temporary oxidative stress producing cardiac chest pain. The plot between migraines and oxidative stress/mitochondrial dysfunction thickens…

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