Friday, March 24, 2006

Worms In Your Brain

An article about migraine research in this morning's Trib starts off talking about worms:

Roundworms thinner than sewing needles don't have complex brains like people do.

Technically, they don't have brains at all - just a pair of grape-like nerve cell bundles in their heads.

But these dirt-dwelling worms invisible to the naked eye might hold the key to understanding why an estimated quarter of the world's population suffers from migraine and how to better treat it, said University of Pittsburgh neurologist Dr. Miguel Estevez.

Unfortunately, the article goes downhill from here. I thought for sure that these tiny worms somehow burrow into people's heads and penetrate their brains, thereby causing migraines, and that the cure would be to take some kind of special medicine that kills the worms without damaging the brain. But that would be too cool of a story.

Instead, we learn that the worm brains are being studied to help us understand how and why we have migraines, and what could be done to cure migraine. I like my version better.

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