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Frequent Migraines May Lead to Brain Damage

Up to now, headaches have generally been no more than a pain -- sometimes severe -- in the head. One New York researcher has found people who suffer from frequent migraines have an increased risk of brain damage. In fact, there was evidence that in some people migraines got worse with time, leaving many severely disabled in their everyday lives.

Over the course of a year, scientists found 3 percent of headache sufferers progressed to a point where they had headaches most days. That's a big difference from a generation ago, when migraines were thought to be "episodic" in nature.

Nowadays, migraines are recognized as interfering with quality of life between attacks and some sufferers have a progressive disorder with attacks that become more frequent and more disabling over time.

The team of researchers, including a group from the Netherlands, found migraine sufferers were at an increased risk of brain lesions, which increased with the frequency of attacks. This raised the possibility that migraine produced progressive changes in the brain.

In my practice, I've found most migraines seem to have a food-based reaction relating to wheat, dairy, sugar, or artificial preservatives or chemicals. Eliminating these foods and incorporating the other eating plan measures, spelled out in my nutrition plan, frequently improves migraines.

Headaches are very common problems for many people who see me for the first visit, but the vast majority of people who return in one month for their follow-up visit tell me that their headaches are gone.

The Scotsman September 22, 2004

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