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Migraine Mania: Exploring the Link Between Disorder and Diet

By Marissa Huggins, VI Form

Migraine Mania: Exploring the Link Between Disorder and Diet

Abstract

Migraine is a debilitating neurological condition associated with symptoms including: intense pressure in the head, nausea, blurred vision, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light, sound, touch and smell.11 Migraine disorder, wherein an individual suffers from a migraine episode at a minimum of two times per month, affects approximately 12% of the population of the United States.1 When an individual suffers from a migraine episode, their mental and physical capabilities are inhibited, making daily tasks extraordinarily challenging, if not impossible. Migraines cause normal neurotransmission – communication between neurons – to be disrupted, and the role of the central nervous system becomes compromised. Treatment options are limited and often ineffective thus exploration of new treatment options would greatly benefit migraine sufferers. The goal of this investigation was to explore the potential relationship between migraine disorder and diet using the model organism C. elegans. The Unc-2 C. elegans genotype is known to mimic human migraine disorder; every abrupt directional change in an Unc-2 C. elegans organism is equivalent to a human migraine. C. elegans consume bacteria as their primary source of nutrition, thus two strains of C. elegans, wildtype (N2) and Unc-2, were fed one of three different bacterial strains and their behavior was observed for one minute. This procedure was repeated three times for each organism. Based on the data collected, it can be concluded that Unc-2 C. elegans grown on a diet of either Comamonas testosteroni (C. testosteroni) or Bacillus subtilis (B. subtilis) experienced a decrease in migraine frequency as compared to those grown on Escherichia coli (E. coli). (more…)