Children who suffer migraines with aura, characterized by frequent intense headaches, bright moving spots of light and garbled speech, might also have a congenital heart defects, say researchers.
A US study about migraines recently followed 109 children between the ages of 6-18 who suffered from frequent migraines with aura.
- Each child was check for heart defects known as patent foramen ovale (PFO), which has been proven to have a correlation with migraines.
- PFO strikes 1 in 4 individuals in the US.
- The Journal of Pediatrics is expected to publish this study, which found that 50% of the children who suffered migraines with aura also had the PFO heart defect, making them twice as likely to have PFO than individuals who don’t experience migraines with aura.
- Symptoms of migraines with aura include intense headache accompanied by blind spots, feebleness, tingling, slurred speech and hallucinations.
- Out of the children who suffered from migraines without aura, only 25% also had PFO heart defects.
- 1 in 10 migraine sufferers also experience aura.
- The British Heart Foundation also plans to investigate further the link between PFO and migraines with aura.
- Experts hope to utilize a catheter device to seal the hole in the heart’s chambers caused by PFO while also treating the symptoms of migraine with aura.
What is patent foramen ovale (PFO)?
- PFO is a small opening which occurs between the two upper chambers of the heart.
- PFO is often discovered in utero, but itself before birth in 80% of all instances.
- The small flap-like is pushed open by coughing or sneezing, allowing blood to flow freely between the two chambers, bypassing the lungs.
- Blood clots and other harmful matter may travel to the brain, causing a stroke.