Navigation Links
Migraines and headaches present no risk to cognitive function
Date:1/19/2011

Recent work, in particular the CAMERA study, has used MRI to study the brains of migraine sufferers and has shown that a higher proportion of these patients exhibit lesions of the brain microvessels than the rest of the population.

Lesions of the brain microvessels

Lesions of the brain microvessels, visible on cerebral MRI images, can be of various kinds: white-matter hyperintensities and, more rarely, silent infarcts leading to loss of white-matter tissue.

They result from a deterioration of the small cerebral arteries that supply blood to the brain's white matter, the material which ensures, among other things, the passage of information between different parts of the brain.

These lesions are observed in almost all elderly people. However, their severity varies greatly from one individual to the next. Moreover, it has been shown that they are more severe among hypertension sufferers and diabetics.

A large quantity of hyperintensities leads to many cerebral complications: cognitive deterioration, increased risk of Alzheimer's disease, depression, movement disorders and increased risk of stroke.

Moreover, according to several studies, the presence of a large quantity of this type of brain lesion increases the risk of cognitive deterioration (reasoning, memory, etc.) and of Alzheimer's disease. This is why the research team coordinated by Christophe Tzourio, director of the Inserm-Universit Pierre et Marie Curie Mixed Research Unit 708 "Neuroepidemiology", advanced the hypothesis that migraines could "damage" the brain.

To test this hypothesis, the researchers evaluated the impact of migraine on cognitive function. The team used the EVA study-group of individuals aged over 65 years, recruited from the general population in Nantes, and monitored them over a 10-year period. Cerebral MRI was performed on more than 800 of the participants and these individuals were also questioned about their headaches by a neurologist. "The advantage of this cohort is that it involves relatively elderly individuals. However, since migraine often begins before age 30, if it did indeed have a deleterious and cumulative effect on the brain, then we should observe cerebral damage and a higher level of cognitive decline among the migraine sufferers", explains Christophe Tzourio.

The cognitive tests performed, involved an evaluation of the volunteers orientation in time and space, their short-term memory and their capacity and speed to correctly carry out specific tasks.

The results show that 21% of people suffer or have suffered from severe headaches over the course of their lives. For more than 70% of these, this involves migraines, some of which are with aura (see box below). The MRI scans for those participants having severe headaches confirm that they are twice as likely to have a large quantity of microvascular brain lesions as subjects without headaches.

In contrast, the cognitive scores were identical for individuals with or without severe headaches and for those having or not having cerebral microvascular lesions.

Among participants having a migraine with aura (2% of the total sample), a specific increase in silent cerebral infarcts and certain lesions was observed, hence confirming previous studies, but without detectable cognitive harm.

"This is a very reassuring result for the many people who suffer from migraine. In spite of the increased presence of lesions of the brain microvessels, this disorder does not increase the risk of cognitive decline. Therefore, we have not observed negative consequences of migraine on the brain ", concludes Tobias Kurth, lead author of the study, who designed and carried out these analyses.

Migraine and brain lesions: a suspected link

Headaches (or cephalgias) are very common among the general population. This is particularly the case for migraine, a very painful, chronic and debilitating variety of headaches. It is estimated that around 12% of adults and 5 to 10% of children are afflicted, which represents 11 million migraine sufferers in France. There are two types of migraine, migraine without aura, by far the most frequent, and migraine with aura (15% of migraines). Migraine aura involves the appearance of, often visual, phenomena (zigzag lines of light, the impression of viewing the world through frosted glass, etc) in the minutes preceding the appearance of the headache.

The mechanisms of migraine and migraine aura are still largely unknown. However, it is suspected that a transitory contraction of the blood vessels could be responsible for a reduction of blood flow in the brain promoting the appearance of migraine aura. Much research elsewhere has shown that people suffering from migraine with aura have an increased risk of cerebral infarction (or strokes). Extremely fortunately, this risk remains low among migraine sufferers. However, the research confirms the existence of a link between migraine and blood vessels in the brain.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sverine Ciancia
presse@inserm.fr
INSERM (Institut national de la sant et de la recherche mdicale)
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. A Lifetime of Migraines
2. Chronic Migraines Take a Greater Toll
3. Botox May Prevent Some Migraines
4. Bad Habits Tied to Recurrent Headaches in Teens
5. Alcohol use and smoking are associated with headaches in high schoolers
6. EPA's New Lead-Based Paint (LBP) Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP) Causes Headaches for Contractors and Property Owners Alike
7. Cell Phones, Video Games Dont Spur Teen Headaches
8. Exposure to 9/11 Fumes Tied to Chronic Headaches
9. Customer representatives mean increased efficiency in radiology
10. Phase III efficacy data on bevacizumab plus chemotherapy in early breast cancer to be presented
11. Euthymics presents phase II data for EB-1010 in major depression at ACNP annual meeting
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... TherapySites, ... its affiliation with Tennessee Counseling Association. This new relationship allows TherapySites ... Tennessee Counseling Association, adding exclusive benefits and promotional offers. , "TCA is extremely ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... technology to revolutionize the emergency ambulance transport experience for the millions of people ... how Uber has disrupted the taxi industry through the use of technology. Now, ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... Quality metrics ... yet in many ways they remain in the eye of the beholder, according to ... a publication of The American Journal of Managed Care. For the full issue, ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios ... X. , "Film editors can give their videos a whole new perspective by using ... - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping to develop a weight loss fitness plan ... fix the two major problems leading the fitness industry today:, , ... They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit their exercise program ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Research and Markets ... Issue 52" report to their offering. ... treatment creates a favourable commercial environment for MedImmune to enter. ... base that will serve to drive considerable growth for effective ... serve to cap sales considerably, but development is still in ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... INDIANAPOLIS , June 23, 2016 If ... Leaders Scholarship is any indication, the future is in ... at www.diabetesscholars.org by the Diabetes Scholars Foundation ... the way of academic and community service excellence. ... since 2012, and continues to advocate for people with ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  Guerbet announced today ... Inc.,s Supplier Horizon Award . One ... Guerbet was recognized for its support of Premier members ... through clinical excellence, and commitment to lower costs. ... receive this recognition of our outstanding customer service from ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: