Monthly Archive 05/08/2021

Migraines Explained

A blinding recurring headache, usually localized to a specific side of the head is known as migraine. Often accompanied by vomiting, nausea and heightened sensitivity to sound and light, migraines are distinguished by a state known as aura, the symptoms of which are a variety of visual disturbances such as splotches, flashes, shimmering lights, and zigzags around a blind spot.

Possible Causes of Migraine

When it comes to migraine, it is always caused by a certain stimuli or trigger. If you happen to suffer from migraine frequently, make sure to track it on the calendar and look for any patterns or specific habits that may have induced it. Following are some of the most common triggers to keep in mind.

Missing meals are often known to cause migraine as fluctuating blood sugar level can cause such a response. If this seems to be the case, it’s recommended that a grazing routine is adopted as going any longer than three hours without a meal can cause a migraine.

Caffeine is another trigger, especially if the patient is used to drinking cup after cup of coffee. Caffeine intake in such high volumes set you up for withdrawal symptoms; the resulting stimulation of the brain can induce this headache.

Natural Remedies

Depending on how serious your migraine condition is, you can then opt for either natural or medicinal remedies. If you are suffering from a mild case, natural remedies are recommended. Begin with ice packs. Application of cold packs is significantly more effective at stopping migraines than heat as ice has natural anti inflammatory effects.

Relaxation techniques have also proven to be effective in numerous cases. Massaging shoulders and neck can curb spasms, while practicing tai chi can heighten awareness and meditation can have a calming effect on the mind.

Medical Treatments

Migraines can originate or be a side effect of a wide variety of medical conditions. So in order to overcome your migraine, treating the underlying symptom takes priority. The large list of potential causes requires an equally exhaustive range of medications to counter it.

The most common class of medication being used to treat migraines is Triptans. First introduced in 1991, this medication effectively counters the migraine symptoms. However, note that stopping this medication can cause rebound headaches.

The next class of medicinal remedies is known as Beta-blockers. The primary purpose of beta blockers is regulating increased blood pressure. In addition, the effect it has on blood vessels makes it an effective remedy for migraines.

In some cases, anti-seizure medications prove to be the only form of relief when all else fails. It reduces the recurrence of migraines by as much as 50%, but it also has its fair share of side effects that include prolonged drowsiness and confusion.

The information discussed here is to allow you to make better decisions, and not a replacement for consulting your primary healthcare physician. Migraines is an illness of the mind, so refrain from self medicating as the result may not be what you’re searching for. If you are not able to see your GP then you can consult with a doctor online but the initial diagnosis will need to be done face to face.

Herpes Simplex Research

The herpes simplex virus (HSV) which causes genital herpes, is very much on the increase with large populations suffering from this painful and unfortunately, lifelong sexually transmitted infection (STI). A new study, led by a team of researchers at The Wistar Institute, which can be found in the journal, Cell Reports, has looked into exactly how the infection works in order to shed some light on how we might best treat the frustrating and steadily spreading STI.

There are two forms of the herpes simplex virus and they differ based on where in the body the virus lies dormant. Type 1 tends to lie dormant near the ear in a group of nerve cells. This is why this particular form of the virus tends to occur again and again on the lower lip or face in the form of cold sores. Type 2 lies dormant at the base of the spine and so, recurs around the genital region.

This particular study looked at HSV 1 in particular and found that this strain of the virus actually interferes with telomeres. Telomeres are parts of the chromosome that protect it from damage, they stop the chromosome fraying or breaking. The herpes virus inhibits the action of this telomere and allows the HSV 1 to replicate in its place. According to researchers at The Wilstar Institute, this could be the case for other viruses too, the manipulation of telomeres solely for the purpose of virus replication.

Furthermore, this finding proves that the telomere proteins offer a protective function against viruses, which could help us learn more about protecting cells from viral infection. Interestingly, the results of previous studies have suggested that the length of the telomere is related to an increased risk of disease. This study puts even more emphasis on telomere length and the predicting of the susceptibility of young adults to disease. Findings like these could change the fate of millions and help us prevent serious conditions in later life.

Certain studies have shown that we can in fact control our telomere length by simply leading a healthy lifestyle, eating well, exercising, and yoga and meditation for stress relief is also thought to contribute to the lengthening of the telomere. This study and studies like it are so important, especially considering the fact that HSV not only causes cold sores, but also has the potential to cause more serious diseases encephalitis and even blindness. Furthermore, huge percentages of the populations of the States and Europe are reported to be infected with HSV 1 antibodies. The virus will always remain in the body but will sometimes be dormant. There is unfortunately no vaccination for HSV yet and the treatment range is limited.

You can read more about herpes and how it can affect eyes here.

Mysimba Recommended for Approval

As has been the case for a number of years now, obesity treatments beyond invasive bariatric surgeries are non- existent. There is however a glimmer of hope in the form of Mysimba which has been recommended for approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) who have recommended that the drug be granted a marketing authorisation for the purpose of weight management in overweight and obese adults who also suffer one or more weight related conditions such as high cholesterol, blood pressure or type 2 diabetes. Studies gleaned that more patients taking the drug, who were simultaneously leading a healthier lifestyle regarding diet and exercise, achieved significant weight loss as compared to those who were treated with a placebo. All of this has happened only a few months after the drug gained approval in the States under the name, Contrave.

Mysimba is a combination drug containing both naltrexone, a drug designed to prevent drug dependence, and bupropion, an antidepressant, and is taken orally. The drugs in combination will focus on the areas of the brain responsible for the control of food intake, the associated reward pathways, and energy expulsion. Four impressive studies have been carried to prove its safety and efficacy with great results.

At the studies’ outset, the main concerns surrounding safety were central nervous system related and gastrointestinal related. Furthermore, longer-term cardiovascular outcomes have not been assessed. A second cardiovascular risk study has been planned as a result, but, the interim study, assessing risk of serious cardiovascular issues from the use Mysimba, was reassuring in the meantime.
The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP), recommended that those who start the drug be assessed after the first 16 weeks. At this point, if the patient has not lost 5% or less of their starting weight, treatment should be ceased. Their recommendations are positive and will be sent to the European Commission so that they can make a decision on an EU marketing authorisation. The study’s results are promising enough to suggest this might be a very real possibility of this being available on prescription in the EU in the near future.

There are more options in the States than here, with four prescription treatments on the market now where, up until 2 years ago, there were none. The brands include, Qsymia (Vivus), Belviq (Arena), Xenical (Roche) and now Mysimba (Orexigen). Most of the drugs that did not make it here in Europe and were denied approval based on concerns regarding their safety profile. Decisions such as these tend to take approximately three months, so it will not be long before we know the fate of this new weight loss treatment.

There is one UK online that has already announced that it will be prescribing Mysimba as soon as it is finally approved and launched in the UK. You can find out more information about this at this website –

If you would like to read more about the European Medicines Agency recommendation Mysimba, you can pick up more details here.