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Migraine as a Risk Factor for Subclinical Brain Lesions
Kruit MC, van Bucyem MA, et al.
Posted: October 2004  
JAMA. 2004;291:427-434

Context:   Clinical series have suggested an increased prevalence of cerebral infarction and white matter lesions in migraine patients. It is not known whether these lesions are prevalent in the general migraine population.

Objectives:   To compare the prevalence of brain infarcts and white matter lesions in migraine cases and controls from the general population and to identify migraine characteristics associated with these lesions.

Design:   Cross-sectional, prevalence study of population-based sample of Dutch adults aged 30 to 60 years.

Results:   No participants reported a history of stroke or transient ischemic attack or had relevant abnormalities at standard neurological examination. We found no significant difference between patients with migraine and controls in overall infarct prevalence. However, in the cerebellar region of the posterior circulation territory, patients with migraine had a higher prevalence of infarct than controls.

Conclusions:   These population-based findings suggest that some patients with migraine with and without aura are at increased risk for subclinical lesions in certain brain areas.