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Heart murmur, PFO tunnel, Migraine cure?


Heart murmur, PFO tunnel, Migraine cure?

Question: Heart murmur, PFO tunnel, Migraine cure?


Full Question:

Do you have any information of a connection between heart murmur caused by the tissue flaps in the heart's upper chamber, called a PFO tunnel, not closing properly after birth, and migraines. Occasionally blood can be recirculated before it is cleansed by the lungs. Operations for other reasons to correct the problem have resulted in migraine cure.




What you refer to isn't exactly a heart murmur, but PFO, patent foramen ovale. There are clinical trials underway now to investigate the connection between PFO and Migraine. One thing you need to be very clear about, however, is that there is no thought that PFO closure can cure Migraine. It can't. At this time, there is no know cure for Migraine, which is a genetic neurological disease. The thought is that unoxygenated blood reaching the brain may be a trigger for some Migraines in some Migraineurs. Here's some more detailed information:

  • PFO: A hole in the heart affecting Migraine?
    A major topic of discussion today is that of PFO, 'the hole in the heart' that may contribute to Migraines. Migraineurs are asking their doctors to test them for PFO. Many with PFO want to have it repaired . However, the closure procedure is not being performed on the basis of Migraine disease because it has not yet been proven effective. Trials are underway for more study of PFO and Migraine.
  • MIST Trial Results In: 37% Reduction In Migraine Burden. from About Headaches and Migraine
    The results are in on the MIST (Migraine Intervention with STARFlex® Technology) study, the British double-blind study designed to evaluate the effect of PFO (patent foramen ovale) closure on Migraine. The MIST results indicated an approximate 37% reduction in Migraine burden.
  • MIST II Begins: Testing the PFO/Migraine Connection
    NMT Medical, Inc. has now initiated enrollment in its PFO/Migraine clinical study in the United States. The study, named MIST II Migraine Intervention with STARFlex® Technology), will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of NMT's proprietary STARFlex® implant technology for the treatment and prevention of Migraine attacks in patients with a patent foramen ovale (PFO).

Good luck,
Teri Robert and John Claude Krusz

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Published April 17, 2006

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