Why Light Hurts During Migraines

The findings should put to rest any thoughts that patients exaggerate their sensitivity to light, Lipton said. "This provides an anatomic and physiological basis for a common experience -- that light makes pain worse, not because you're a whiner, but because there is an anatomic pathway that links the visual system to the pathway that produces head pain," Lipton said. "That odd bit of clinical symptomatology has a firm basis in brain science."

More information

The National Headache Foundation has more on migraines.

SOURCES: Rami Burstein, Ph.D., professor, anesthesia and neuroscience, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston; Richard Lipton, M.D., director, Montefiore Headache Center, and professor, neurology and epidemiology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York City; Michael Palm, M.D., assistant professor, neuroscience and experimental therapeutics and internal medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, College Station, and director, Parkinson's and Headache programs, Texas Brain and Spine Institute, Bryan; Jan. 10, 2010, Nature Neuroscience, online

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