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Certain children and adults who suffer from migraine have underlying physical problems. What are the underlying problems and what may be causing them?

A migraine is a moderate to severe headache with nausea that affects one half of the head, it has a pulsating feel and lasts from 2 to 72 hours, it may include vomiting and light sensitivity. Migraines are aggravated by activity and usually occur in a period of rest after tension. They are related to hyper-excitability of the cerebral cortex or abnormal control of pain neurons in the trigeminal nucleus of the brainstem. The central nervous system has a role in a migraine.

Reflexes may be responsible for the underlying problems in the following ways: One of the triggers of a Moro reflex is a sudden movement or change of light in the visual field. A retained Moro reflex may cause the release of adrenaline and cortisol into the body which are the stress hormones, increase the heart rate and blood pressure therefore putting strain on the blood vessels in the brain and possibly the cause of the pulsating feel. The long term effects of the retained Moro include vestibular problems such as motion sickness which could be responsible for the nausea experienced with a migraine. Other effects of the Moro are oculomotor and visual-perceptual problems, poor pupillary reaction to light, and photosensitivity, which causes a person to tire easily under fluorescent lighting. These problems could be a direct cause of a migraine as the person struggles to overcome their perception difficulties resulting in stress and tension as the body system becomes overloaded. Photosensitivity is a direct cause of a migraine. Secondary psychological effects of a retained Moro, which may be linked to migraines, include: a continuous anxiety state, excessive reactions to stimuli, cycles of hyperactivity followed by excessive fatigue (which is the exact pattern of the typical migraine).

Other visual difficulties arise with the retention of an ATNR particularly with movements at the midline and perception of symmetrical figures, and a strongly retained TLR can lead to a propensity to motion sickness and oculomotor dysfunctions.

An STNR may cause difficulties with adjustment of binocular vision and attention. Visual problems lead directly to headaches.

The mode, intensity and duration of the senses can also have a profound impact on an individual. Too much stimulation can result in overreaction or vastly increased stress levels, and distortion or blurring may result in confusion. Migraines usually occur after periods of stress or tension or hyperactivity when a person would have an increased level of visual stimulus to contend with. Trying to cope with all of the potential visual problems would easily result in tiredness and tension headache.