Bright Lights, Big Headache: A Study Explains

Posted on January 12, 2010 

Bright Lights, Big Headache: A Study Explains

A study of blind people has revealed how bright light can intensify the pain of a migraine headache.

The study, published in Nature Neuroscience, found a pathway between light-sensitive cells in the retina and an area in the brain that’s involved in migraine pain. The retinal cells don’t contribute to vision, so they are still functioning in the eyes of many blind people whose other retinal cells no longer work.

“Why it should be that light makes pain worse during migraine had remained a mystery until this study,” says Richard B. Lipton, who directs the Montefiore Headache Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. He was not involved in the research.

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