Migraine Sufferers: Nobody’s Perfect

September 20, 2013

Sorry to burst your bubble if you suffer with migraines in Dallas, the birthplace of beauty queens, quarterbacks and Hollywood stars.  You aren’t perfect!  Relax, according to headache experts, neither is anyone else. 

They indicated that benign abnormalities could be detected in almost everybody’s MRI images.  These experts also suggest that chronic migraines, which have generally thought to be relatively harmless, might in fact lead to long-term brain health concerns. 

A joint meta-analysis study (a broad review of prior research studies) revealed that migraineurs are more likely to exhibit brain tissue changes over time that may or may not increase their risk for developing stroke and other issues.  While individual research studies are very important, the benefit of meta analyses is that they take a look at a larger group of subjects and reduce the statistical effects from contradictory information. 

The study, published online in the journal Neurology, revealed three types of noteworthy brain structural changes found among people with migraine accompanied by aura.  The most significant change was found in white matter lesions, which affects the neurological pathways between brain regions.  One of the co-authors noted however, that this was actually not a cause for concern. 

The changes signifying blood flow interruptions though, were disconcerting, as these raise the risk for strokes.  Subjects, whose migraines were accompanied by aura, were 44 percent more likely to present with this type of brain change.   The third type of change noted was shrinkage in grey matter, which is associated with some memory loss. 

The author said, fortunately, that this change is reversible with migraine management.  Another good reason to get those chronic migraines in check with long-lasting treatments like the Omega migraine procedure!

So while everything may be bigger and (appear to be) perfect in Dallas, chronic migraines should make us wonder whether refusing to see the imperfections is always a good thing.  The scientists indicated that treating migraines effectively could potentially prevent long term effects on brain matter, that arise from these debilitating headaches. 

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