The use of a new method of blood circulation control allowed scientists to trace the state of the capillary network in patients with migraine.
Specialists have always paid a lot of attention to the circulatory system. However, the arteries and veins were in sight, and the small vessels, the capillaries, were not studied so thoroughly. And it is in vain: after all, they provide the direct delivery of blood to all tissues and organs.
The total number of capillaries in the human body is not one or even two billion, but much more. Therefore, it is not surprising that their impaired work can cause failures of varying intensity - both migraine attacks and strokes. However, information about the functionality of the capillaries is negligible, and above all, due to the lack of research materials. However, recent research scientists have brought some additional information on this subject.
The specialists managed to create such a variant of the known method of plethysmography, which made it possible to catch any localized disorders in the capillary network. For the procedure, we used LED green radiation, video with a polarizing filter and a specifically developed computer program. When erythrocytes are illuminated with a greenish backlight, they change the polarization of the reflected flow. With the help of video recordings, only such a reversed polarization is recorded, in which one can be traced, in which of the sections there is more red blood cells. A more filled area means that there is an intense blood flow in it, and the opening of additional capillary vessels occurs.
Scientists have applied this method in testing with the participation of people suffering from migraine . As stated in one of the theories, with migraine attacks, there is a breakdown of the nervous adjustment of the capillary blood flow. For a more detailed study of this information, experts applied pepper patches to the skin of volunteers. The specific alkaloid capsaicin, which is part of such a patch, irritates the nerve receptors. After such irritation, normal capillary vessels are “switched on” in humans due to increased blood flow: this process can be considered using optical plethysmography.
However, in patients with migraines, the response to irritation was uneven. "Perhaps this was due to a violation of the mechanism for regulating blood circulation at the molecular level," said Alexei Kamshilin, a researcher at the International Scientific and Technical Center at ITMO University. Uneven "inclusion" of capillaries clearly leads to impaired blood flow. However, scientists have yet to find out what kind of relationship exists between this violation and the development of a migraine attack. According to experts, the new method allows us to consider a large area of the capillary network and in half a minute to get the necessary information about the uniformity of red blood cell divergence. Previously, this was considered impossible.
A new method of diagnosis can be useful not only for the diagnosis of migraine in patients. It can be used in patients with strokes, diabetic vascular changes, etc. In addition, plethysmography can be used to track blood circulation in the cerebral cortex during neurological surgery.
Research scientists described in an article published in The Journal of Headache (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s10194-018-0872-0).