Headaches

It is the most common neurological symptom, with a global prevalence of 50% in adults at least once a year. Headache includes migraine, tension-type headache, and cluster headache, although it can also be secondary if related to another underlying pathology (traumas, infections, etc.). It affects people of all ages, races, income levels, and geographical areas equally.

Primary headaches are caused by hyperactivity or changes in pain-sensitive structures in the head. The chemical activity in the brain, nerves or blood vessels around the skull, or the muscles of the head and neck (or a combination of these factors) can influence their development.

In addition, they can be triggered by lifestyle-related factors including:

  • Alcohol, especially red wine.
  • Certain foods, such as processed meats that contain nitrates.
  • Changes in sleep or lack of sleep.
  • Poor posture.
  • Skipping meals.
  • Stress.

Symptoms

A headache consists of pain in any region on one or both sides of the head, isolated in a specific spot or generalized, radiating through the head from one point, or visceral in quality. It can appear as a sharp pain, a throbbing sensation, or a dull ache. Headaches can develop gradually or suddenly, and can last from less than an hour to several days.

Prevention

Currently, there are no measures to prevent the onset of headaches, however, there are various steps that can be taken to reduce and space out the number of episodes.

  • Sleep approximately 6 to 8 hours, maintaining a regular schedule both on workdays and days off.
  • Eat regularly five times a day a balanced diet. Avoid excessive amounts of sugars, caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods, as well as maintain good hydration.
  • Engage in moderate exercise to reduce stress and stay physically fit. However, excessive exercise, certain types of exercise, or inconsistent patterns can trigger headaches.
  • Reduce stress through meditation and other deep relaxation exercises.

Number of observed variants

13.5 million variants

Number of risk loci

28 loci

Genes analyzed

ARHGAP1 ASXL1 BCAR1 BTN2A2 CAMK1D CDKN2C FGF6 FHL5 FXN GJA1 GPR149 IFT81 IRAG1 LINC02210-CRHR1 MACF1 MEF2D MRPS21 MYO1H NUFIP2 PHACTR1 PLEKHA1 PRDM16 PTBP2 STAT6 TRIM32 TRPM8 TSPAN2 ZCCHC2

Bibliography

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