A study reported this month in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® reports the discovery of cellular-level changes in nerve structure and function that may contribute to the development of migraine headache. Patients with migraine were found to have abnormalities of the myelin sheath that serves as "insulation" around the nerve fibers. The findings help to explain the effectiveness of a plastic surgery procedure in providing pain relief for migraine patients—and may provide direction for developing new approaches to migraine treatment.
Researchers hypothesize that damage to the myelin sheath may make the nerves more prone to irritation by the dynamic structure surrounding them, such as muscle and blood vessels, potentially triggering migraine attacks. It had been observed that some migraine patients had reduced headache activity after cosmetic forehead-lifting, which involves removal of some muscle and vessel tissue surrounding the cranial nerves.
Read a news story about the findings here.