Navigation Links
Migraine Sufferers Show More Brain Changes Than Others: Study
Date:11/13/2012

By Barbara Bronson Gray
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Women who suffer from migraines are more likely to have brain lesions than those who don't get the debilitating headaches, but new MRI research shows that the severity of those lesions does not correlate with greater memory or thinking problems.

"We found a higher volume of brain changes among women with migraines, but no evidence of a strong relationship between the attack rate or other related factors with the degree of lesions," said study author Dr. Mark Kruit, a neuroradiologist at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands.

The brain changes, also called "white matter hyperintensities," are believed to be caused by episodes of low oxygen to the cells, called ischemia. The lesions are associated with higher risk of atherosclerotic disease, ischemic stroke and cognitive decline, according to the researchers.

"From a broad perspective, we should probably understand migraines as a problem related to coronary artery disease," Kruit said. "The white matter hyperintensities are likely of ischemic origin, but we need further studies."

The study was published Nov. 14 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

About 12 percent of people in the United States get migraines, which are recurring attacks of moderate to severe throbbing or pulsing head pain, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. They are three times more common in women than in men.

As for why women are more prone to migraines than men, Kruit explained that previous studies implicate the female hormone estrogen.

The researchers developed this study to follow up on work published in 2004, Kruit said. "[That study] had a scary message: that females with migraines had more brain damage, and the researchers had no clue why they were seeing brain lesions," he explained. "They said that people with higher migraine attack frequency had more lesions, suggesting causation."

The researchers wanted to determine whether women or men who had migraines had a higher incidence of brain changes nine years after having an initial MRI. Tapping 286 people from the Netherlands who had participated in the previous study, the scientists gave MRIs to people with migraines and to those without the headaches, accounting for age, gender, hypertension, diabetes and educational level.

The participants in the migraine group had an average age of 57 years old, and 71 percent were women. Those in the control groups were an average of 55 years old, and 69 percent were women.

The researchers found that 77 percent of the women with migraines and 60 percent of the control group showed progression of white matter hyperintensities. The women with migraines, however, did not have significantly higher progression of other brain changes, as measured by MRI.

What are these white matter hyperintensities?

Dr. Deborah Friedman, professor of neurology and ophthalmology at the University of Texas South Western Medical Center in Dallas, explained in an editorial accompanying the research: "They're most likely ischemic changes related to migraines, but it's unlikely these itty bitty spots will grow or become a problem."

"Nerve cells get excited and fire more than usual, and then they fire less; it starts at the back of the brain and moves forward," Friedman said. "It could be ischemia. Not everyone with migraines gets them."

But Friedman is optimistic. "I wanted to headline the editorial 'Don't Panic,'" she said. "The MRI is not the whole story. We need to treat people with migraines like anyone, looking at the whole picture."

Friedman said physicians should work with migraine sufferers to help them reduce the classic risk factors of cardiovascular disease: obesity, high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol and lack of exercise.

It's possible, Friedman said, that some migraine sufferers may be at increased genetic risk for white matter disease, including stroke, transient ischemic attacks and cognitive changes.

"But there's no evidence that preventing migraines will decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease," she said.

More information

To learn more about migraines, visit the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

SOURCES: Mark Kruit, M.D., Ph.D., neuroradiologist, Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands; Deborah Friedman, M.D., professor, neurology and ophthalmology, University of Texas South Western Medical Center, Dallas; Nov. 14, 2012, Journal of the American Medical Association


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Ice Cream Headaches Might Offer Clues to Migraines
2. Botox Offers Little Relief for Migraine, Study Finds
3. Migraines More Likely for People With Celiac Disease, Study Says
4. Two-Drug Combo Helps Teens With Migraines
5. Few Migraine Sufferers Referred for Behavioral Treatments
6. Red Wine, Weather May Trigger Migraines
7. Relief for Migraine Sufferers as The Life House Offers New Findings, Free Consults
8. Published clinical trial demonstrates efficacy of Sea-Band for migraine-related nausea
9. Good news: Migraines hurt your head but not your brain
10. Migraines Not Linked to Decline in Thinking Skills
11. Behavior issues are a bigger headache for children with migraines
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Migraine Sufferers Show More Brain Changes Than Others: Study
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “America On The Brink”: the Christian history of ... Brink” is the creation of published author, William Nowers. Captain Nowers and his ... veteran, he spent thirty years in the Navy. Following his career as a ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... Orleans, LA (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... centers in the U.S., announced today its plans to open a flagship location in ... will occupy the former Rooms To Go store next to Office Depot in the ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... The American College ... to Carol Friedman, PhD, FACMI, during the Opening Session of AMIA’s Annual Symposium in ... , In honor of Morris F. Collen, a pioneer in the field of medical ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Dr. Parsa Mohebi, the Los ... article to the newly revamped Cosmetic Town journal section, featuring articles ... procedure known as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). , Dr. Mohebi says ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... On Saturday, October ... treadmill relay – Miles by Moonlight to raise money for the American Heart Association ... more. , Teams will work together to keep their treadmills moving for 5 ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/4/2017)... , Oct. 4, 2017 ... single-use, self-contained, illuminating medical devices, today announced regulatory ... Health Surveillance Agency (or Agência Nacional de Vigilância ... first single-use, cordless surgical retractor with integrated LED ... optimal access, illumination and exposure of a tissue ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... , Oct. 2, 2017  AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, ... formed by Walgreens and pharmacy benefit manager Prime Therapeutics ... new brand, which included the unveiling of new signage ... , as well as at a few other company-owned ... new brand to patients, some of whom will begin ...
(Date:9/28/2017)... Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: HRC), will host its fiscal ... Friday, November 3, 2017, beginning at 7:00 a.m. (CDT) ... a.m. (CDT) / 9:30 a.m. (EDT). In ... guidance for 2018, Hill-Rom executives will also highlight the ... long-range financial outlook through 2020. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: