Researchers at the University Children’s Hospital (UKBB) in Basel, Switzerland are conducting a study to determine if ketones bodies are a possible treatment option for those suffering from migraine headaches.
According to the Migraine Research Organization, migraine headaches are an “extraordinarily prevalent neurological disease” which afflicts nearly 1 billion people worldwide.
Migraines are the 3rd most prevalent illness in the world and the 6th most common disabling illness.
While most have experienced the occasional headache, a migraine is not just a bad headache. It is a separate and distinct condition which is often accompanied by additional symptoms – such as visual disturbances, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, extreme sensitivity to sound, light, touch and smell, and tingling or numbness in the extremities or face.
The researchers will be conducting their study using 45 subjects, between the ages of 18 and 65, who report suffering from chronic migraine episodes between 4 and 14 times per month.
They will monitor the subjects for an initial 4 weeks to establish a baseline of their migraine frequency. After that, they will divide the subjects into two groups, with one group receiving exogenous ketone bodies and the other group a placebo for a period of 12 weeks.
After that 12 weeks, the participants will go through a 4 week “wash out” period and then start another 12 week trial period – with the groups switching participation between receiving ketones bodies and placebo.
During the study, the researchers will be monitoring the frequency of participant’s migraines and comparing them to their baseline before the study began.
It is hoped that providing ketone bodies will reduce the number of migraines and/or their severity.
It should be noted that these study participants will not be following a ketogenic diet. Instead, the researchers will attempt to induce mild ketosis by providing ketone bodies as a supplement of Beta-hydroxybutyrate salts.
If this study shows positive results, it could offer hope to the millions that suffer from migraines and also add to the growing research showing the benefits of the keto diet.
You can learn more about this study here.