CRL NIR doc discusses lead causes of headaches

WCCO’s Heather Brown recently sat down with CRL Neurointerventional Radiologist, Dr. Yasha Kayan at Abbott Northwestern Hospital to find out what some of the lead causes of headaches are.

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO), March 3rd, 2017 — Headaches happen to all of us. But for one in 20 people, headaches can happen every day.

“The brain itself doesn’t have any pain sensors in it. Headaches are usually related to pain sensors in the lining of the brain or the blood vessels of the brain,” Kayan said.

There are lots of causes of headaches.

“Some headaches are related to changes in blood flow to the brain, and so you can get a headache from either too much or too little blood flow,” he said.

And no one likes getting those caffeine headaches.

“What caffeine does is it can cause a clamping down of blood vessels,” Kayan said. “And so say one day you skip your usual morning cup of coffee, then your brain’s not used to that, so you get an abnormal increase of blood flow to the brain, and that cause a headache.”

Hangover headaches come from dehydration, which is less blood to the brain. Migraines, however, are a different story.

“There’s two theories. We first thought that it was mostly related to blood changes, blood-flow changes, but we know think it’s more related to an abnormal firing of the nerves,” he said.

The most common headache is a tension headache, which is related to straining the muscles in our head or neck.

“It’s called referred pain,” Kayan said. “Often times we get pain in locations that are not directly related to the cause.”

And a less common condition called “secondary headaches” can be caused by underlying medical conditions, like tumors and infection.


Watch the full interview HERE.

Story by Heather Brown, WCCO | CBS Minnesota