Compared to the slow climb to the top of a real-world roller coaster, the moment you stab a nail in the air, and the screaming plunge, the digitally simulated roller coaster ride seems to be quite dull. But what if the virtual coaster was used to help scientists understand more about migraines? Yeah, it’s a little cool.
A study published in the journal Neurology on Wednesday Tied up by 40 people to ride a simulated roller coaster -Half of them had migraine headaches on a regular basis. No one actually experienced migraine during the study, but those who were prone to migraine reported more motion sickness and dizziness than those without headache.
Researchers also found that participants who were devoted to migraine headaches during the ride showed more neuronal activity in some areas of the brain and less in other areas. Researchers say that further research is needed on these changes, but discovery is a step in the right direction. “By identifying and identifying these changes, our research could lead to a better understanding of migraine, which in turn could lead to the development of better treatments,” the paper said. Co-author Professor Arne May of the University of Hamburg, Germany, said. In a press release.
Millions of people regularly experience migraines, and those who experience headaches often complain of balance problems, dizziness, and “misunderstandings about their position in space.” In this study, people with migraines experienced an average of four headaches a month.
While riding the virtual roller coaster, participants covered their ears with headphones, lay down in the scanner, and watched the simulation for about 30 minutes. They heard the fricatives of cars on the rails and saw animated scenes connecting up, down, left and right.
Researchers performed a brain scan of each participant using Functional magnetic resonance imagingDetects brain activity by looking at changes in blood flow. Participants then answered a questionnaire about the perceived level of symptoms such as motion sickness and dizziness.
Approximately 65% of participants who experience migraine also experience dizziness during a virtual ride. It dropped to 30% for people without headaches. Participants were asked about the intensity of motion sickness symptoms on a scale of 1 to 180, with a migraine propensity averaging 47 responses to 24 in the control group. People with migraine headaches also experienced longer and more severe symptoms.
Examining brain scans, researchers observed changes in nerve cell activity in specific areas. People who routinely experience migraine outside of a simulated roller coaster vehicle have increased activity in five areas of the brain, including areas involved in visual processing.
Studies have shown that changes in neuronal activity correlate with migraine disorders and motion sickness scores.
Researchers also saw more neuronal activity in people with migraines in the pontine nuclei, an area of the brain that helps regulate movement and other motor activity, May said. “This increase may be related to the abnormal transmission of visual, auditory, and sensory information in the brain,” he said.
“Future research will need to look at a large number of people with migraines to see if we can confirm our findings,” May said in a release. On the other hand, remember that you might unravel the mystery of migraine before making another decision about the virtual version of the roller coaster.
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