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Prof. Dr. A.V. SRINIVASANM.D., D.M., Ph.D (Neuro)DSC(HON), F.A.A.N., F.I.A.N, FORMER -Professor in Neurology and HEAD Institute of Neurology, MMC & GGH 17-06-2011
Male Brain vs. Female BrainDifferent in external anatomical and primary and secondary sexual differencesThere are also differences in the way male and female brains process language, information, emotion, cognition, etc (3).
DifferencesMale Brain Female BrainBetter in Mathematical Better in human relations. calculations, etc. Higher than males inHigher than females in empathy, verbal skills, social independence, dominance, skills, and security seeking spatial and mathematical (3). skills, rank-related aggression, and other characteristics (3).
Physiological DifferencesBrain region in cortex discovered by scientists in Johns Hopkins University: inferior-parietal lobule (IPL). Significantly larger in men than in women. This area is bilateral and located just above the parietal cortex (above the level of the ears).Left IPL larger for men, while right IPL larger for women.Women have more grey matter volume than do men (3).
Regions other than the Cortexthe volume of a specific nucleus in the hypothalamus (third cell group of the interstitial nuclei of the anterior hypothalamus) is twice as large in heterosexual men than in women and homosexual men, thus prompting a heated debate whether there is a biological basis for homosexuality (3).
HeadachesCommon medical Types: problem by any standard MigraneRepresents most Tension common reason for Cluster referral for Neurologists (2).
MigraineMigraine—disorder of sensory dysmodulation (2). Most common of the disabling primary headaches Represents 90% of headache complaintsPathophysiology: inherited problem (2). Thus far, 3 genes for familial hemiplegic migraine identified Each involve dysfuntion of ion channels.
Headaches in WomenWomen have headaches more commonly than men. Prevalence of migraine: 18% of women and 6% of men.Estrogen levels are a key factor in increased prevalence of migraine in women (1).
Evidence of the Effect of Estrogenlevels on MigrainesMigraine prevalence increases at menarcheEstrogen withdrawal during menstruation is a common trigger for migraineEstrogen administration in oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapies can also trigger migraines.Migraines decrease during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters of pregnancy when estrogen levels are highMigraines are common immediately postpartum, with the precipitous drop in estrogen levelsMigraines generally improve with physiological menopause (1).
Effects of Estrogen levels (1).Fluctuations of estrogen levels can result in: Changes in prostaglandins and the uterus Prolactin release Opioid regulation Melatonin secretion Changes in neurotransmitters I.e. Catecholamines, noradrenaline, serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins.
Lifetime Prevalence of Headachesin Women and Men (1).Type Women MenAny Headache 99% 93%Migraine 25% 8%Tension 88% 69%
Important Headache Issues to beCovered (1).Menstrual MigraineMenopause and MigraineOral Contraceptive Use in MigraineursHeadaches during Pregnancy and Postpartum
Menstrual Migraine (1).Prevalence varies from 4% to 73%Menstruation is trigger for about 60% of migraineurs.Symptoms of premenstrual syndrome include: depression, anxiety, crying spells, difficulty thinking, lethargy, backache, breast tenderness, swelling, and nausea. Both Migraine and tension-type headaches can be associated.
Management of MenstrualMigraine (1).Symptomatic treatment same as for other migraines – NSAIDs (nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs) – ergotamine, dihydroergotamine, and triptans.Premenstrual preventive treatment can be helpful for women with frequent migraines or with menstrual migraines that are severe and prolonged.
Management of MenstrualMigraine (1)>Effective Hormonal treatments Transdermal estradiol Bromocriptine 2.5mg, three times a day Danazol 200mg, two or three times a day Tamoxifen 5 to 15mg daily for days 7-14 of the luteal cycle.Hysterectomy is NOT RECOMMENDED for the management of menstrual migraine.
Menopause and Migraines (1).2/3rds of women with prior migraine improve with physiological menopause.Contrastingly, surgical menopause results in the worsening of migraine in 2/3rds of cases.
Menopause and Migraines:Estrogen Replacement Therapy (1).Effect of hormone Treatment of Estrogen replacement headache replacement therapy: Reduce estrogen dose 45% improve, 46% Change estrogen type from conjugated worsen, and 9% are estrogen (Premarin) to pure estrone (Ogen) unchanged. Convert from interrupted to continuous dosing Convert from oral to parenteral dosing (Alora, Climara, Estraderm, or Vivelle- Dot) Add Androgens
Oral Contraceptive Use andMigraine (1).Migraines may occur for the first time following oral contraceptive useOC’s effect on migraines is quite variable: migraines may increase, decrease, or stay the same
OC Use and Migraines: Risk ofStroke (1).Stroke in Young Women Annual occurrence of stroke in young women who take OCs is about 4 in 100,000 for women aged 25-34 and 11 in 100,000 in women aged 35-44. For women who do not have migraine and do not take OCs: 1.3 in 100,000 in women aged 25-34 and 3.6 in 100,000 for women aged 35-44.Stroke and Migraine Increased risk of stroke in women with migraine
Approximate Risk of Stroke inYoung Women not on OC with andwithout migraine (1).Approximate incidence of ischemic stroke (strokes per 100,000 women peryear) in women with and without migraine who do not use oralcontraceptives. MigraineAge Without Migraine Without Aura With Aura25-34 1.3 4 835-44 3.6 11 22
OC Use and Migraines: Stroke andUse of OCs (1).Risk of stroke associated with OCs vary with different doses of estrogen.Recent studies have not shown an increased risk of stroke in women who use low-estrogen-dose OCs.OCs containing only progesterone do not increase the risk of stroke.
OC Use and Migrane: Use of OralContraceptives in Migraneurs (1).Most recent OC use and stroke studies reveal no increased risk of stroke in OC use in migraineurs.Most women with migraine without aura and those with auras such as visual symptoms lasting less than one hour can use OCs.Women with aura symptoms such as hemiparesis or dysphasia or prolonged focal neurological symptoms and signs lasting more than one hour should avoid low-dose-estrogen Ocs.Progesterone-only OCs and many other contraceptive options may also be considered as a replacement.
Headaches during Pregnancy andPostpartum (1).About 90% of headaches during pregnancy and postpartum are BENIGN.Frequency of migraines decreases and that of tension- type headaches does not change.Life threatening causes of headache that can occur during this time: Preeclampsia and eclampsia, subarachnoid hemorrhage, intracerebral hemorrhage, and cerebral venous thrombosis.
Migraine during Pregnancy andPostpartum (1).Occurs in 1% and 10% of migraineurs during pregnancy, usually during the first trimester.During pregnancy, preexisting migraine improves or disappears in about 60% or more, is unchanged in 20% or less, and grows more frequent in 20% or less. Improvement often occurs in 2nd or 3rd trimester.
Migraine during Pregnancy andPostpartum (1).When improvement occurs during the first pregnancy, improvement also occurs during subsequent pregnancies in about 50%, whereas an increased frequency occurs in the other 50%.Migraneurs do not have an increased risk of miscarriages, toxemia, congenital anomalies, or stillbirth.
Management (1).Fortunately, migraines usually improve or disappear during pregnancy.Nonmedication approaches: avoidance of triggers, ice, sleep, and biofeedback.Symptomatic Medications: Acetaminophen FDA Class B drug (no evidence of risk in humans, but no controlled human studies) Caffeine in small doses of less than 300mg a day is Class B and safe. Codeine in reasonable amounts is probably safe Triptans should be AVOIDED during pregnancy.
Preventive Medications (1).Valproic acid to be avoided (Class D)Topiramate (Class C) should only by used if benefits outweigh risks.Preventive of choice: Beta-blockersCalcium channel blocker verapamil—safe during pregnancyAntidepressants may be considered in some cases.
References1. Evans, Randolph W. Headache in Women. Pages 230-240. Handbook of Headache 2nd ed, 2005.2. Goadsby, Peter. Update in Headache. Page 140. 2008 AAN Timeline: Neurology Update II,2008.3. Sabbatini, Dr. Renato M.E. Are There Differences Between the Brains of Males and Females? State University of Campinas 1997. <http://www.cerebromente.org.br/n11/mente/eisnte in/cerebro-homens.html>.
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