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The cause of migraine is not clearly known. Pixabay

Headache is a blanket term used to describe pain on one or both sides of the head and upper part of the neck. According to the WHO, every adult experiences headache at some point of time in life.

The common causes of headaches are stress and anxiety, emotional distress, irregular eating habits, dehydration, high blood pressure, hot weather etc, Dr Pradeep Mahajan, Regenerative Medicine Researcher, Mumbai told IANSlife.


According to the International Classification of Headache Disorders, there are more than 150 types of headaches. Headaches are called ‘primary’ when there is no underlying associated condition and ‘secondary’ when there is an accompanying systemic condition. In primary headaches, the nerves, blood vessels, and muscles in the head and neck region are strained, which may be accompanied by changes in chemical activity in the brain. Migraine, cluster headache, and tension headache fall under this category.

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Migraine is a type of primary headache, the cause of which is not clearly known; however, studies have suggested a combination of environmental and genetic factors. Migraine tends to run in families and is the sixth highest cause of days lost due to disability (absence from work) worldwide (WHO statistics).


Migraine is the sixth highest cause of days lost due to disability. Pixabay

The classical symptoms of migraine are excruciating, throbbing pain on one side of the head (most commonly) that can last anywhere between a few hours to days. Extreme sensitivity to light, sound, smell, and sometimes even touch are hallmarks of the condition. Other symptoms include visual and sensory disturbances (known as aura), nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. Some patients also experience tingling and numbness on the face and extremities.

There have been several theories explaining the pathophysiology of migraines. Some theories proposed that dilation and constriction of blood vessels in the head caused the pain and associated symptoms. Thus, treatments revolved around regulating blood flow. However, it is now known that migraine is an extremely incapacitating neurological disorder involving nerve pathways and brain chemicals.

There are different types of migraine, out of which migraine with aura, migraine without aura (70-90 percent), and chronic migraine are generally encountered. The other forms are menstrual migraine, hemiplegic migraine, migraine with brainstem aura (basilar type, rare), associated with vertigo, and cyclical vomiting syndrome. Till date, there is no definitive test to diagnose migraine. Diagnosis is based on clinical symptoms by process of elimination of other forms of headaches.

Conventional treatment of migraine involves prescription medications, such as serotonin receptor agonists, tricyclic antidepressants, among others along with drugs to control associated symptoms such as nausea and vomiting (antiemetics). Avoiding certain foods and triggers has also been advised. Nonetheless, these remedies only help to reduce the intensity of an episode of migraine and do not provide definitive control of the condition.


Diagnosis is based on clinical symptoms by process of elimination of other forms of headaches. Pixabay

Also Read: Exercise Prevents High BP, Even in Areas with Air Pollution

Cell-based therapy is a new modality that harnesses the intrinsic healing potential of the body for management of various conditions. In the context of migraine and other headaches, studies have shown that stem cell and growth factor activity can target neurogenic inflammation, which is now considered a key phenomenon in such conditions. Moreover, there are reports of decreased endothelial progenitor cell (EPC) function in patients with migraine, which may be associated with circulatory aberrations. Through the self renewal and multi-differentiation potential of mesenchymal cells in our body, it is possible to replenish the pool of EPCs, thus targeting the core pathology of migraine.

With changing times and the varying presentation of diseases, it is essential to understand the pathology of the condition, in order to formulate more effective therapeutic modalities, and not just treat the symptoms. Cell-based therapy is one such modality that utilizes the innate healing potential of the body, and targets the underlying molecular mechanisms of diseases, thereby providing long-term safe and effective results. (IANS)


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The aim of the book is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

By Siddhi Jain

Delhi-based author Pritisha Borthakur is set to release her new book, 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories'. The 1,404-word children's book was put together to address a new kind of societal debacle in the family system. The author says the aim is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

The author who named the book after her twin sons -- Puhor and Niyor -- is a parent who has seen and heard the tales of ridicule and discrimination suffered by many in India and beyond. She says the book is an artistic illustration for kids that details how different families can live and coexist. Whether it's children with two dads or two moms, children with a single dad or single mom, and even multiracial family units, Borthakur's book teaches love, understanding, and compassion towards unconventional families.

Beyond race, gender, color, and ethnicity which have formed the bases for discrimination since the beginning of time, this book aims to bring to light a largely ignored issue. For so long, single parents have been treated like a taboo without any attempt to understand their situations; no one really cares how or why one's marriage ended but just wants to treat single parents as villains simply for choosing happiness and loving their children.

Homosexual parents, a relatively new family system, is another form that has suffered hate and discrimination for many years. Pritisha emphasizes the need to understand that diversity in people and family is what makes the world beautiful and colourful. 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race, and even differences in background

four children standing on dirt during daytime 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race and even differences in background. | Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash


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