florescent-light Light sensitivity is a frequent symptom of migraine, but according to a study done earlier this year, a certain kind of light may reduce migraines. A study done by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Boston has found that exposing migraine sufferers to a narrow band of green light can reduce light sensitivity, known as photophobia, and headache severity. The study was published in the May 2016 edition of Brain.

Light Sensitivity Many migraineurs suffer from light and sound sensitivity, and researchers recently determined they have heightened connectivity between specific areas of the brain. This finding may help in the development of migraine treatments, said lead author Amy R. Tso, MD, of the University of California at San Francisco. In a study of 15 patients with migraine without aura, researchers used a functional MRI to evaluate the areas of the brain involved in processing visual and auditory information. They found that there was increased connectivity between primary visual and auditory cortices, where visual and auditory information is processed; the pons, which serves as a communication center in the brain; and the anterior insula, a region involved in coordinating responses to matters of emotional importance.

  Flowers Patients with chronic migraine are often hypersensitive to stimuli, including light, sound, and odors. In fact, some researchers believe the aversion to odors, osmophobia, is particularly helpful in a differentiating migraine from other headache disorders. Now, new research suggests that patients with chronic migraine (CM) do not experience a significant change in their sense of smell between migrainous and non-migrainous periods, but they appear more likely to have an abnormal sense of smell at baseline compared to their peers who do not experience migraine.

Migraineurs are frequently advised to determine what factors trigger their migraines and then avoid them as best they can. But a small recent study has raised questions about just how accurate this advice is. Researchers recruited 27 people who experience migraine with aura to study the effects of exercise and flashing lights, considered to be among the most common triggers for a migraine. In the lab, the researchers tried to provoke migraines and subjected the participants to bright, flashing lights, strenuous exercise or a combination of both for up to 40 minutes.

In the first half of this year, the pharmaceutical company NuPathe Inc. plans to resubmit its new drug application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Zelrix, a transdermal sumatriptan patch intended to treat migraine. The company had hoped to launch the new product in that time frame, but the FDA raised concerns in mid-2011 about the chemistry, manufacturing and safety of Zelrix, slowing the product's release.

Light is such a potent trigger for migraine that it can intensify an attack within seconds, even in people who are legally blind. Close to 90% of migraineurs have photophobia (light sensitivity), but it was a group of blind migraine sufferers that helped researchers from Beth Deaconess Medical Center in Boston trace the source of a possible problem.