Today in Research: Hallucinations Before Migraines; Vitamin Worries

Today in research: barking piranhas, hallucinatory pre-migraine smells, the thing about vitamins, and which types of punctuation get a study noticed.

  • Smell hallucinations prior to a migraine have been overlooked. A Montefiore Headache Center in New York meta-analysis highlighted by Reuters informs us that, although it's uncommon to have an olefactory hallucination prior to a migraine, there have been some cases. This is what was smelled by these people, it seems to be pretty varied: "Some headache sufferers described a general burning smell, while others said they smelled cigar smoke, wood smoke or burned popcorn. After those burning scents, 'decomposition' odors -- like garbage or sewage -- were the next most common. A few people did describe pleasant odors, including the scent of oranges, coffee, or, in one case, foie gras." [Reuters]
  • This just about tops off the week in vitamin worries. In just a few days there were two widely covered studies that came to pointed conclusions about the detrimental effects of both vitamin E and multivitamin supplements. Today, the Associated Press published an explainer noting all the caveats that you'd read on a typical pill bottle (i.e. a variation of vitamins aren't proven to be good for you). It did, however, quote the president of Consumerlabs.org, "a company that tests supplements and publishes ratings for subscribers," saying something pretty striking about different types of vitamin products: "One out of 4 either doesn't contain what it claims or has some other problems such as contamination or the pills won't break apart properly." [Associated Press]

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

Presented by

The Atlantic Wire is your authoritative guide to the news and ideas that matter most right now.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Health

Just In