Backing for migraine expert, 120 years on
FOR more than 120 years, a pioneering Scots doctor was ridiculed for his work on migraines.
But new studies suggest research by Sir William Arbuthnot Lane – born in Fort George, Inverness-shire – into the link between the gut and severe headaches was right all along.
A probiotic containing 14 strains of bacteria has been shown to reduce the frequency of migraines in sufferers.
In a study, 40 per cent of those with episodic pain and 45 per cent with chronic pain said the frequency of their migraines had decreased after taking a supplement, Bio-Kult.
The trial, by Dr SR Jahromi and colleagues at the Iranian Centre of Neurological Research, Tehran University, is the first of its kind to show a beneficial role of probiotics in alleviating the frequency, severity and duration of migraine attacks.
Professor Glenn Gibson, a food microbiology expert at Reading University, said: ‘As long ago as the 1800s, Arbuthnot Lane – a Scottish physician – suggested that the gut could be involved in migraine and schizophrenia.
‘These predictions were not taken seriously at the time but they are now.’
He added: ‘This excellent study shows how alteration of the microbiome through a safe and efficacious probiotic mixture can help migraine suffers.’
Neurologist Dr Fayyaz Ahmed said: ‘This research opens new doors for further research into the link between nervous system disorder and gastrointestinal structures.
‘Not taken seriously’