What is a Migraine?
Nearly 20% of the population experience migraine headaches, with almost twice as many women affected than men. Many people with migraines know that stress, lack of sleep, neck tension and certain foods can set off a migraine attack. However research over the past decade has confirmed that these are simply just “triggers” and that migraines are caused by underlying problems with normal brain function, and not caused by abnormalities in blood flow as previously thought. Some types of migraine can cause particularly distressing symptoms such as vertigo (a sense of spinning) or can mimic a stroke. It is common for people who suffer from migraines to experience other brain-based problems as well such as Anxiety, Depression and Fibromyalgia.
How do we help Migraines?
Traditionally, treatment for migraine has been limited to medication to try and prevent attacks, or to stop one when it starts. Many people will also look to identify and minimise any “triggers”, and this is a sensible approach that can often be helpful.
Everyone is different and there is no single treatment for migraine that helps everyone. Aside from medication and avoiding "triggers" other treatments shown to be helpful for migraine include natural supplements (such as Feverfew and B-Vitamins), Neurofeedback Therapy, Peripheral Biofeedback Therapy, specific lifestyle change (such as prioritising physical exercise and sleep) and Trans-Cranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS).
At The Perth Brain Centre there is no “one size fits all approach.” Special brain scans called QEEG help to identify the "weak spots" in the brain that can cause migraine and this information is used to direct effective and drug-free treatments, with a focus on: