To evaluate the association between migraine and cognitive decline among women, a total of 6,349 women aged 65 or older enrolled in the Women’s Health Study. The women provided information about migraine status at baseline and participated in cognitive testing during follow-up.

Cognitive testing was carried out at 2-year intervals, using several tests. All tests were combined into a global cognitive score, and tests assessing verbal memory were combined to create a verbal memory score.

Compared with women with no history of migraine, those who experienced migraine with or without aura or had history of migraine did not have significantly different rates of cognitive decline in any of the cognitive scores.

Robert G. Kaniecki, MD, who was not part of the study said it helped him assuage the concerns of perimenopausal women with migraine and memory concerns.

“In such patients we have many considerations for perceived memory loss – effects of aging, hormonal changes, medications, perhaps depression, or anxiety – but at least migraine does not appear to be associated with faster rates of cognitive decline.”
Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain October 2014

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