Could exposure to migraine triggers prevent them?

January 24, 2013 2:52:06 PM PST
Anyone who suffers from migraine with aura knows there are certain triggers they can avoid to prevent another one. But what if constant exposure to those triggers actually prevented them?

A migraine with aura is often characterized by visual disturbances such as flashing lights. Typical triggers can include stress, bright light, and physical activity.

European researchers studied 27 of patients and exposed them to the triggers. They found if a person is exposed to a suspected trigger for three months and does not have a migraine attack, they should no longer have to worry about avoiding the trigger.

"It may be a learned response and can we, kind of, get people to undo that response by continuously exposing them to the stimulus that they think may be causing their headache," Dr. Jennifer Kriegler, Cleveland Clinic, said.

The National Institutes Of Health says there is a migraine sufferer in 25-percent of all U.S. households.

More people in the U.S. suffer from migraine than from asthma and diabetes combined.