Curelator, NHF Study Shows Migraine Sufferers Aren’t Good at Determining Own Triggers

curelatorAs Curelator Headache tracks the factors and symptoms for individuals’ headache and migraine, one thing is becoming clear: individuals are not great at determining their own triggers.

Curelator Headache is a digital tool that guides individuals to identify personal triggers, discover personal protectors (factors associated with decreasing an individual’s chance of an attack), and dismiss factors not associated with attacks. The results of an initial study released by Curelator Headache and the National Headache Foundation in December 2015 showed that some frequently cited triggers, such as chocolate and red wine, may be just as responsible for protecting against attacks as contributing to them. Continue Reading

Oxidative Stress May Be the Common Denominator Underlying Migraine Triggers


Any number of triggers can bring on a migraine, including such different factors as drinking alcohol, experiencing a change in the weather, and not getting enough sleep. Now one researcher has determined that these common migraine triggers and a host of others can produce oxidative stress in the brain. Such stress is marked by a build-up of damaging molecules called free radicals and can lead to pain.

In a study published recently in Headache, Jonathan Borkum, PhD, of the University of Maine’s Department of Psychology, evaluated 2,000 studies about migraine triggers published between 1990 and 2014 and found that nearly all common migraine triggers are capable of generating oxidative stress. Based on those findings, he stated he believes oxidative stress can be a unifying principle behind the types of triggers countless migraineurs experience. Continue Reading

Reader’s Mail: Specific Sounds Trigger Migraine

Q: It seems that certain types of music, especially loud, manufactured/synthesizer-type music, triggers my migraine headaches. I am wondering if any research has been done to determine the correlation of certain sounds or music to the onset of migraine headaches. An example of this music can be heard in some steakhouse-type restaurants. Sometimes my headaches are triggered by being placed on hold during a business phone call. I cannot listen to music using earplugs. Easy-listening music, live piano music, and/or Lawrence Welk-type music do not give me headaches. Shop vacuums and power scrubbers used in large stores also trigger my migraine headaches. Sometimes it is almost impossible to avoid this type of music or noise. I have non-classical, atypical migraine headaches.

I have tried earplugs, but they do not block out the sounds that are triggers. Also, any musical sounds transmitted by any type of ear phones directly against my ears are triggers as well. The last time I went shopping at Walmart, which was playing migraine-triggering music, I just started humming louder than the intercom music to block that music out and it seemed to help. Continue Reading