Migraines may alter brain structure


Migraines may cause permanent changes in brain structure, though just how this affects patients over the long term is unknown, according to research released Wednesday.

A meta-analysis performed on six population-based studies and 13 clinic-based studies was published in Neurology, a journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The review found that people with migraines faced a higher risk of brain lesions, white-matter abnormalities and altered brain volume than people who did not suffer from the painful headaches.

People who suffered migraine with aura — in which patients experience advance warning signs, including sensitivity to light, dizziness or ringing in the ears — had a 68 percent higher risk of forming lesions in the brain’s white matter than non-sufferers.

Migraine sufferers without aura had a 34 percent higher risk of brain lesions compared with people who do not get migraines.

Other abnormalities and brain volume changes were also found more common in people who get migraines, the study found.