Recent research at Essex University investigating triphobia (the fear of clusters of small holes) found that 18% of women and 11% of men* -in a sample of 300 adults-found photographs of the lotus flower (a frequent trigger for tryphobia) uncomfortable to look at.

What, you may ask, has this got to do with migraine? Firstly it is well known that certain repetitive patterns, in carpets for example, can be a trigger for migraine. Secondly it has been shown that in some people hyperactivity in regions of the brain such as the amygdala seems to be a predisposing factor to migraine.

Now, the amygdala happens to be part of the “old”- evolutionarily speaking- brain which is programmed to react to danger. It therefore occurs to me that there may well be a `stress`reaction in the amygdala to certain repetitive patterns as an evolutionary relic from the time when repetitive patterns meant to danger in the form of poisonous animals or predators. This `stress`response on an already sensitised amygdala could then be the starting point for the neurological `cascade/storm` that is migraine.

*Also, intriguingly 18% of women and 11% of men is not too far from the prevalence of migraine in the general population !


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