Possible Causes of Migraine Disorders

What causes a migraine disorder?

The body’s nervous system depends on millions of neurons that transfer information from the sensory organs of the body, such as the pressure sensors of a fingertip, to the brain and a second set of nerves that sends a signal back to the finger muscles to pull your finger away from the heat of a candle.

Nerve cells have small thin extensions of their cell membranes which, when many are clumped together, form the white nerve fibers of the body. Those nerve fibers can be amazingly long but it is necessary for there to be more than one nerve cell reaching from the brain to the sensory nerves. They require the message to be passed, or relayed, from one nerve to the next. To accomplish this task, the nerves have developed a chemical message sent between individual nerves, or neurons. These chemical messengers are called neurotransmitters. Common neurotransmitters are serotonin and norepinephrine. They are released from one end of a neuron and float across a space to be recognized by the next neuron. The recognition of the neurotransmitter on the other side of the synapse triggers and renews the electrical signal.

The theory is that this delicate transfer of information may be making mistakes that distort the information as it is transferred to or within the brain. Furthermore, there is likely that hormones, such as estrogen, affect the sensitivity of this chemical interaction between nerve cells. This may explain why migraine headaches or their other neural relatives vary during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, menopause and aging.