I believe this analogy to be useful on many levels:
- It get's people to take me and my condition seriously
- It instantly conveys that migraine is a neurological condition over which I have no control
- It helps explain the notion of migraine as episodic attacks which have triggers
My this is all rather serious for monday morning isn't it? Yes, you should probably imagine Dame Judi Dench is reading this out-loud to you. By the way, I don't make the comparison between epilepsy and migraine lightly. I have several close friends who suffer from severe epilepsy and I've seen how devastating and debilitating it can be. A girl I was at school with tragically died from a seizure, whilst at her home. She would have seizures at school and I vividly remember our maths teacher carrying her out of class once. So, please do not think I'm trivialising epilepsy or the struggle of those who live with it.
The reason I'm writing about this topic today is that clever Scientists from Columbia University have released results from a study which could finally prove a genetic link between migraine and epilepsy.
Dr. Melodie Winawer from Columbia University Medical Center in New York said "Our study is the first to confirm a shared genetic susceptibility to epilepsy and migraine"
|Image taken from http://www.electrocoremedical.com|
There are also many other similarities, which are far too technical for me to really understand and explain but involve brain hyper-excitability, genetics, 4 stages of attacks etc etc. And this study found that those with three or more close relatives with epilepsy were twice as likely to suffer migraine with aura.
This study is great news for sufferers as more targeted treatments can now be developed, and any greater understanding of both conditions is always beneficial. I'm also hoping that it might mean the general public will treat those of us with migraine with a bit more consideration. Migraine is the most common neurological disorder in the developed world. It's more prevalent than epilepsy, asthma and diabetes combined but receives far less funding. Isn't it time to re-address this balance?