Friday, June 05, 2009

Blood clots and headaches

Some interesting research into two of the problems that plague me, blood clots and intracranial hypertension. Here's an article about some new research into exactly how clotting works, which will hopefully lead to treatment for those who clot too quickly or slowly.

The team say the work will improve understanding of how the body regulates the formation of blood clots, and could also give some insight into how bleeding disorders, such as von Willebrand disease, disrupt this regulation system, potentially leading to new avenues for treatment and diagnosis.

This one is about headaches in space, which has particularly interesting timing as I was discussing this very thing at Balticon over Memorial Day Weekend. I had heard that astronauts were experiencing intracanial hypertension and that NASA was studying Pseudotumor Cerebri in an attempt to help their astronauts.

The researchers believe there are a number of reasons why space travel could cause headaches, the root cause being microgravity.

Microgravity is known to cause lower oxygen levels in the blood and this may be the trigger for space headache.

It can also cause a shift in the body's fluid towards the brain which would raise intracranial pressure - another possible trigger.

It would be nice if we could get some more effective treatment than shunting or chronic dehydration.

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