Science & Technology

Virtual roller coaster rides may help unravel the cause of migraine headaches


Riding a virtual roller coaster can cause excessive motion sickness in people experiencing migraines

KatarzynaBialasiewicz / Getty Images

Virtual roller coasters cause changes in brain cell activity associated with dizziness and motion sickness in those who experience it Migraine, Even if they don’t currently have an episode – discoveries that could lead to a better understanding of migraine and the development of new treatments.

Everyone can feel sick and dizzy when riding a roller coaster, but those who experience migraines often feel sick and dizzy on a thrilling ride. And the more people feel the general incompetence of motion sickness and migraines, the more unusual the brain activity during a roller coaster simulation. Gabriella Carvalho At the University of Lübeck, Germany.

“Our findings show that the areas of the brain involved in migraine pain handling overlap with the brain system that regulates motion sickness and dizziness,” she says. “People with migraine headaches aren’t the only ones. They also often experience other symptoms that can have a significant impact on quality of life, such as motion sickness and dizziness. Therefore, what happens in this study? Really gives us a better idea of ​​what we are doing [in their heads].. “

Carvalho and her colleagues performed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 40 brains. Half of them experience migraine headaches on a regular basis. A realistic animated video of a roller coaster vehicle, MRI scanner Continue for 35 minutes.

The video provided the perspective of a person sitting in a vehicle and included the sound of a car running on a truck. Participants in both groups averaged 30 years old, with 80% of both group members being female.

None of the participants experienced migraine during the virtual ride, but 65% of the participants in the “migraine” group reported in a questionnaire that they felt dizzy during the simulation, but of the participants in the control group. Only 30% experienced.

People in the “migraine” group also rated the level of motion sickness as twice that of the control group, and the information provided in the questionnaire showed that dizziness and motion sickness symptoms during the ride lasted nearly three times on average. Shown. Than the control group.

Carvalho says fMRI images support these reports. In those who experience regular migraines, researchers have found increased activity in areas of the brain that cause vision, pain perception, sensorimotor processing, balance, and dizziness. They also detected more neural communication between these brain regions and other brain regions.

On the other hand, these people had less activity in the brain regions that deal with cognitive functions, including attention. And the more migraine headaches these study participants had and the more motion sickness they usually felt, the more changes scientists pointed out in brain activity during virtual rides.

Having more people see the results may give us new insights into why some people experience migraine headaches. “People with and without migraines process information about movement and gravity differently, and these findings reflect that,” says Carvalho. This may help efforts to develop new treatments, she adds.

Journal reference: Neurology, DOI: 10.1212 / WNL.0000000000012443

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Virtual roller coaster rides may help unravel the cause of migraine headaches Virtual roller coaster rides may help unravel the cause of migraine headaches

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