Migraines Linked to Defective ‘Insulation’ Around Nerve Fibers

A new study shows that cellular-level changes in nerve structure and function may contribute to the development of migraine headaches, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

According to the study, nerve specimens from patients with migraine show abnormalities of the myelin sheath that serves as “insulation” around the nerve fibers. These findings help to explain why a plastic surgery procedures provide effective pain relief for migraine patients—and may provide useful clues for developing new approaches to migraine treatment.

The study—conducted through collaboration by three independent departments at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine—included electron microscopy to assess nerve cell structure and proteomic analysis to assess the presence and function of proteins.

The results showed important differences in nerve structure between the migraine and cosmetic surgery patients.

“Essentially, the protective layer surrounding and insulating the normal nerves, called myelin, is missing or is defective on the nerves of the patients with migraine headaches,” said Dr. Guyuron, who coauthored the study the study.

He likened the myelin sheath to the plastic coating used as insulation material around electrical wires and cables and states that if the “insulation” becomes cracked or damaged by conditions in the environment, that’s going to affect the cable’s ability to perform its normal function.

Similarly, damage to the myelin sheath may make the nerves more prone to irritation by the dynamic structure surrounding them, such as muscle and blood vessels, potentially triggering migraine attacks.

Dr Guyuron developed migraine surgery techniques after noticing that some migraine patients had reduced headache activity after cosmetic forehead-lifting, which involved removal of some muscle and vessel tissue surrounding the cranial nerves.

The new study lends some important new clues for understanding the mechanisms by which migraine headaches occur. It also adds new evidence that the peripheral nerves play an important role in triggering the complex cascade of migraine attacks that ultimately involve the central nervous system.

By showing pathological changes of a cranial nerve involved in triggering migraine headaches, the study may help to explain why migraine surgery is effective. These findings may lead to other opportunities to treat patients with migraines in a non-invasive, or less-invasive manner.


Why Only Specialists Should Perform Cosmetic Surgeries

The British Royal College of Surgeons is urging the public to be prudent about who performs their surgeries.

In a recent statement to the BBC, a spokesman expressed concern that current rules allow General Practitioners (GP’s) to do nose jobs, which is a “big problem” for patients, and is insisting that a new certification system be implemented for each procedure.

These recommendations come as the result of a consultation launched by the College in the wake of thousands of substandard breast implants made by French company Poly Implant Prothese (PIP).

One suggestions made by ministers is to create a register of certified surgeons to help the public make more well-informed decisions about the quality of their surgeon. Doctors, in turn, would have to be proven specialists in their field and provide evidence of their success rates.

“Operating outside of the specialty is a big problem in private practice” says vice-president of the College Stephen Cannon. With the new system, he states, there will be no concerns for established surgeons doing good work.

“It will stop the GP from doing the nose job; it will stop the dermatologist from lifting someone’s breasts; it will stop a lot of the “cowboy behaviour” that goes on privately”

The College is recommending that the certification system be voluntary, but the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) states that the recommendations must be mandatory and policed in order to ensure public safety.

It is of the utmost importance that the person performing your surgeries is qualified to do so – make sure to do your due diligence and work with a surgeon that is experienced in his or her surgical field, has a good reputation, and, most importantly, puts you at ease.



6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Having Plastic Surgery

There are many benefits to having plastic surgery, from an improved physical appearance, attaining a more ‘youthful’ look, and a boost in self-esteem. However, making the decision to have plastic surgery isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly.

Below are 6 things you should consider:

  1. Do the positive advantages exceed the possible complications?

All surgical procedures run the risk of serious complications, and it is important to acknowledge this possibility. While there is always a chance, no matter how skilled the surgeon, doing your research and choosing a surgeon with a strong history of successes will help ensure that your surgery is complication-free.

  1. Have you considered all of your alternatives?

Plastic surgery should never be your first choice, and many surgeons will insist that you make lifestyle choices, such as getting more exercise, improving your eating habits, or losing weight if they feel that it will benefit you before having surgery.

  1. Do you depend on external sources for your self-esteem?

Plastic surgery can make you feel and look amazing, but if you aren’t satisfied with other areas of your life and are relying solely on plastic surgery to make yourself happy, then no amount of surgery in the world will be able to help you.

  1. Have you determined your expectations?

What do you hope to achieve as the result of your surgery? How do you think your life will change if the surgery is a success? What do you expect in terms of the surgery itself and the recovery period?

  1. Are your expectations realistic?

It is unrealistic to expect that your life will change overnight due to plastic surgery, so it is important to discuss your goals and expectations for your post-surgery life with your surgeon.

  1. Will surgery help you reach reasonable goals?

Again, plastic surgery is not an instant fix, but if you have feasible goals such as alleviating back pain after a breast reduction, improved breathing thanks to a nose job, or overall self-esteem thanks to a tummy tuck.

The best way to determine if plastic surgery is right for you is to book a consultation with a reputable surgeon who can help you make the right decision for you.