A migraine is one of the most incapacitating symptoms related to Premenstrual Syndrome. In severe cases, usually unwilling to undergo treatment, the patient is forced to abandon her household, social and work duties, to lay in bed, in a silent and dark atmosphere.
Migraines’ biochemical mechanisms have been deeply studied. Therefore, many substances that come up when suffering from a migraine are known: histamine, interleukin, prostaglandins, serotonin, platelet factors, and many cell receptors at brain vessels, as well as brain nuclei, such as the trigeminal nucleus. Even though many of the factors are known, the mechanism (if it is just one) that causes pain when they interact with each other is unknown, and it is not easy to know if these factors are produced throughout the body or in specific areas, and why. What all substances have in common is being part of the ‘INFLAMMATION PROCESS’.
It is now of scientific interest to relate inflammatory markers, like the ones mentioned for other diseases, some apparently distant to an inflammatory process, such as depression. Many tests show a clear connection between depression and inflammatory markers, but the connection between Premenstrual Syndrome and inflammation has not been studied up until last July. Professor Bertone-Johnson from the University of Amhers-Massachusetts, has been conducting a comprehensive prospective study that co-relates for the first time many interleukins with premenstrual syndrome severity, both the physical and emotional symptoms.
On the other hand, other groups like Maria Antonova’s, from the University of Copenhagen, have extensively studied the connection between prostaglandins and migraines, and found a direct connection with prostaglandins responsible for the dilation of blood vessels, but prostaglandins that do not dilate vessels do not cause migraines.
All studies suggest that Dr. Lolas‘ inflammatory hypothesis on premenstrual syndrome is more consistent than the common hormonal hypothesis, also considering that alterations in hormonal patterns of patients with premenstrual syndrome have never been found. If the main source of inflammatory cytokines is deactivated during the cycle’s premenstrual phase, the symptoms are expected to disappear, as it happens when treating the uterus as a swollen organ, according to Lolas’ thesis, having not only the physical symptomatology disappear, but also the neuropsychological. Migraines are the first to disappear with this treatment.