Migraines May Be Linked to Brain Damage

Written by AnaLise on August 28, 2008 – 4:13 pm -

Individuals who suffer from migraine headaches know how debilitating they can be.  Migraines are usually accompanied by severe nausea, vomiting, extreme sensitivity to light and terrible pain.  The symptoms can be so overwhelming and painful that one part of the way people deal with migraines is to tuck themselves away in a dark, quiet room and wait for the migraine to pass.

Recently research has yielded more information regarding connections between migraines and serious health issues, especially in women.  One of the most serious health issues now associated with migraines is that of stroke and brain hemorrhaging or aneurysm. 

Researchers have discovered that recurrent migraines that women have are a strong signal or a warning that the woman may be in danger of stroke. 

In addition to what studies have already shown about migraines, new information has been discovered about a link between migraines and progressive brain damage.  Studies were conducted in the Netherlands to determine if there was a connection between migraine headaches and brain damage of any type or severity.

Two groups of women were studied.  Researchers compared the brains of the women who did not suffer from migraines to the women who regularly suffered from migraines.  After having MRIs done for both groups of women, researchers found that the women who suffered from migraines showed abnormalities in several regions of the brain.  Women who had the worst or most extensive abnormalities of the brain were those who had suffered from migraines for many years, usually fifteen years or more.

Follow up studies are planned to study the brain before, during and after a migraine episode to determine what is actually happening to the brain itself in real time. 

These studies could show whether migraines are just severe and debilitating headaches or actually a type of progressive brain disease.


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