Essay: Why Light Makes Migraines Worse

Sample Essay

In this article, Jennifer Couzin-Frankel (2010) writes about the relevance of a recent research performed by anesthesiologist Rami Burstein on the significance of the presence of light to the intensity of migraines. The study was carried out through a groundbreaking methodology that acquired participants who were blind. The blindness in this case was caused by either the complete absence of eyes or because of extensive damage to the optic nerve; severing the connection of the eyes with the brain. It is imperative to highlight though that while all the participants could be classified as blind; some were capable of sensing varying shades of light.

The research, according to Jennifer Couzin-Frankel (2010), revealed that participants who could sense varying shades of light experienced an increase in the intensity of their migraines when exposed to light; while participants who had no eyes altogether did not report any differences in the intensity of their migraines when exposed to light. In its findings, the research served to bring forth the relevance of Melanopsin as the key receiving component of the eyes that was allowing the shades of light to be perceived even though the optic nerves were damaged. In this regard, the research served to show that the way forward in research on migraines had to consider Melanopsin as an integral factor in order to be thorough and comprehensive(Couzin-Frankel, 2010). It was identified towards the end of the research that further research would be required to ascertain whether it was solely the Melanopsin serving as the receptor for the shades of color or if the cones and rods in the research volunteer’s eyes were still partially intact.

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