Migraine Sufferers: Are They Sexier?
Sexual Desire Stronger in Those Who Suffer the Debilitating Headaches
Sex-Migraine Link: New Treatment Clue?
Houle says Couch's work made him wonder about the link between sex and migraines. Recent studies, he says, show migraine headaches are linked to low levels in the brain of the chemical signal serotonin.
People with clinical depressiondepression also have low serotonin levels. Some antidepressant drugs, such as Prozac, raise levels of this brain chemical, but can cause loss of sexual desire and sexual dysfunction. The newest class of migraine drugs, triptans, also affect serotonin levels.
The finding that migraine sufferers have increased sexual desire strengthens the link between serotonin levels and migraine, Houle says.
"Every piece of information about the migraine experience helps us understand what the migraine is like in the brain and in the body," he says. "This, we hope, will lead to improved treatment and management. And besides, it is just plain interesting."
Houle and colleagues report their findings in the June issue of the journal Headache.