Exposure to Triggers Causes Migraine With Aura in Only a Few

Only small subgroup of patients report migraine with aura when provoked with natural triggers

THURSDAY, Jan. 24 (HealthDay News) -- For patients who suffer from migraine with aura (MA), provocation with natural self-reported trigger factors causes migraine in only a small subgroup, according to a study published online Jan. 23 in Neurology.

Anders Hougaard, M.D., from the Danish Headache Center at the University of Copenhagen, and colleagues examined the causal relationship between trigger factors and MA attacks in a group of 27 patients with MA who reported that their attacks were triggered by bright or flickering light or strenuous exercise. Participants were exposed to different types of photo stimulation, strenuous exercise, or a combination of the two.

The researchers found that, following provocation, three participants (11 percent) reported MA attacks. Three more participants reported migraine attacks without aura. Four of 12 participants reported migraine following exercise, while none of the participants reported migraine after photo stimulation.

"Experimental provocation by self-reported natural trigger factors caused MA only in a small subgroup of patients," the authors write. "Prospective confirmation is important for future studies of migraine trigger factors and in the clinical management of patients with migraine."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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