Women are three times more likely to experience migraine headaches than men. Now, new research into the activity of a protein could start to explain why. Research going back more than 30 years has confirmed that calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) plays a major role in migraine. However, this work has revealed little about the locations of the protein’s migraine activity in the body.
The mechanism that they observed happens in the meninges, the protective layer of three tissues that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Introducing CGRP into the meninges triggered pain responses in the female rodents but not in the males.
The research team explains why women are much more likely to experience migraine headaches than men. The main reason for this is the effect of estrogen. However, not all migraine headaches involve hormones. A migraine is a severe type of throbbing headache that happens periodically, often with disturbance of vision, nausea, vomiting, and increased sensitivity to light and sound.estrogen was tied to higher migraine prevalence in women experiencing menstruation. Moreover, they also found that certain types of migraine were linked to changes in hormone levels around menstruation.