Women, already twice as likely to suffer from chronic migraines as men, may also require different treatment for their bouts; Harvard scientist Nasim Maleki suggests we even consider men's and women's migraines "different diseases altogether." From Scientific American:
In women with chronic migraines, the posterior insula does not seem to thin with age, as it does for everyone else, including male migraineurs and people who do not have migraines. The region starts thick and stays thick.
We don't know yet whether the thickening of the insula is something the brain is doing to protect itself or something that worsens women's migraines, Maleki says. Yet the evidence is mounting that when it comes to migraines, men's and women's brains are structurally and functionally different. For treatment, that knowledge could make a huge impact: not only should researchers be better about testing potential migraine drugs on men and women separately, Maleki says, but they may be able to design new treatments based on these brain differences—giving both sexes a better chance at relief.