Cluster, Migraine Headache Strongly Linked to Circadian Rhythm

1 Apr 2023 • According to a latest study published in American Academy of Neurology, cluster headache and migraine have strong ties to the circadian system at multiple levels. These new findings could have significant treatment implications. A meta-analysis of 16 studies showed a circadian pattern in 71% of cluster headache attacks (3490 of 4953), with a clear circadian peak between 9:00 PM and 3:00 AM.

Migraine was also associated with a circadian pattern in 50% of cases (2698 of 5385) across eight studies, with a clear circadian trough between 11:00 PM and 7:00 AM. " In the short-term, these findings help us explain the timing to patients — for example it is possible that a headache at 8 AM is due to their internal body clock instead of their pillow, or breakfast food, or morning medications," lead investigator Dr. Mark Burish explained.

Treatment Implications?

  • "This reinforces the importance of the hypothalamus – the area of the brain that houses the primary biological clock – and its role in cluster headache and migraine. It also raises the question of the genetics of triggers such as sleep changes that are known triggers for migraine and are cues for the body’s circadian rhythm," Burish said.

"We hope that future research will look into circadian medications as a new treatment option for migraine and cluster headache patients" he added.

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Source: Medscape | Read full story

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