Migraine With Aura Related to Closure of Atrial Septal Defects
While this is only a case report, and we generally do not allow single case studies to change clinical approaches, this one brings up an important consideration. Research is starting to show a link between heart defects and migraines. Many patients find relief of their migraines when the hole in the heart is closed. But this is a case study of a patient that experienced a drastic increase in the frequency of her migraines after closure-a procedure that should show the opposite effect.
But, looking at the big picture, it is very possible that the heart defect contributes to migraines by lowering the overall oxygen tension in the blood and/or reduced removal of diffusable toxins in the lungs (at least this is MY story…) affecting the mitochondria of the nervous system. However, anesthesia is well known to lower oxygen tension. It is highly likely that this patient’s oxidative stress was worsened by the anesthesia, resulting in worsening of her migraines.