Migraines increase the risk of changes in brain function

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A recent study found that women who suffer from migraines are more likely to have brain lesions – abnormal structure or function of the brain – than those who do not get the headaches.

“We found changes in brain volume that are higher in women who experience migraines. Unfortunately, there is no strong evidence of the relationship between the level of attacks of migraine or other factors associated with these lesions,” said Dr. Mark Kruit, researchers from Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, as reported by Health.com.

The study result, published in the American Medical Association shows that the brain changes, called white matter hyperintensities, is thought to be caused by a lack of oxygen in the cells (ischemia). According to researchers, the lesions are an indication of atherosclerotic disease, ischemic stroke, and cognitive decline.

Women are more prone to migraines than men. Previous studies explain that migraine is influenced by estrogen hormones in women. The current study is also a follow-up to a previous study published in 2004.

Migraine is not a disease that you can ignore lightly. Migraines can be caused by several factors, such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking and lack of exercise.

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