Migraine Cause & Symptom

How Does Migraine Cause Pain Symptom? Once your Migraine trigger level crosses your threshold and migraine pain becomes activated, the mechanism spreads through various parts of the brain, involving a number of neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) along the way. One of the most important neurotransmitters of migraine is serotonin, but to think of migraine as simply an imbalance of serotonin is to overlook the involvement of other neurotransmitters such as dopamine and neuropeptides. The brain is not just a chemical soup in which too much or too little of one ingredient can lead to problems. It's more like a computer, wired with many complicated circuits along which neurotransmitters relay impulses. Migraine involves one such circuit, with multiple inputs (migraine triggers) feeding into it and outputs (symptoms) resulting from it. We understand only sketchy details of this mechanism, but one thing is clear: it can be controlled by the 1-2-3 Program.
As migraine headache proceeds, a group of nerve cells in the brain stem (the trigeminal nucleus caudalis) becomes activated. Signals travel from this region along the trigeminal and upper cervical nerves to blood vessels around your head, face and neck. Each of these nerves supplies one side only, which is why migraine pain can be one-sided if it stems from that pathway alone. At this point the mechanism of migraine, which is controlled within the brain, has spread outside the brain.
Impulses traveling down these nerve fibers lead to the releaser neuropeptides from nerve endings. These neurotransmitters cause blood vessels around your head to become swollen and inflamed. Nitric oxide, a chemical that produces vasodilation (blood vessel swelling), also plays a role. The resulting swelling and inflammation of blood vessels around your head generates headache (or some other form of discomfort in or around your head, face or neck).
How do blood vessel swelling and inflammation translate into the pain that you feel? Again nerve fibers play a role, but in this case the fibers carry impulses in the opposite direction: back to the brain. The swollen, inflamed blood vessels stimulate pain receptors on nerve endings, and the resulting pain signals are carried back to the brain by nerve fibers. In other words, nerves around your head are two-way streets carrying migraine traffic from and to the brain: outgoing impulses that cause swelling and iiiflamrnation of blood vessels around your head, and incoming signals reflecting the presence of blood vessel swelling and inflammation. Ultimately, when this reverberating loop becomes activated, the information that blood vessels are swollen and inflamed reaches the brain stem and is relayed to higher centers in the brain, where it is translated into the discomfort, distress and distraction that you know as a headache.
Normally, transmission of pain impulses and the experience of pain is subdued by naturally occurring, narcotic-like substances known as endogenous opiods (or endorphins). To make matters worse, the migraine mechanism somehow interferes with the endogenous opioid
system so that, in effect, the experience of pain generated by migraine is magnified instead of muted. Migraine makes your brain act and feel sensitive. Even background sensations such as pulsation ot blood vessels , which are normally filtered from awareness, are instead felt as throbbing, pounding pain which normally known as migraine symptom.