A review by Danish researchers has found that after analyzing 20 separate studies that changes in the brain’s white matter and tiny lesions could be found in the brains’ of migraine sufferers. The results were published in the journal Neurology.
The reason for the differences and their signifigance are not clear. Dr. Messoud Ashina, from the University of Copenhagen, said: “As a neurologist I see many patients with migraine who ask – does it damage my brain? Migraine is associated with structural changes, but how and why we don’t know.”
Dr. Ashina reviewed studies which had used MRI scans to look at the brains of patients with migraines. It showed “white matter abnormalities” and mini-stroke like lesions were more often seen in migraine patients – especially those who have “aura” symptoms – than in people without migraines.
Dr. Fayyaz Ahmed, chair of the British Association for the Study of Headache said, “It’s been well known for some time that migraineurs, particularly those with aura, have silent high signal intensity lesions in the brain more than the general population. However, the significance of this remains uncertain. It would be too premature to say that a migraineur’s brain is at high risk of future structural or functional problems unless there are long term longitudinal studies done.”
Dr. Robbins was one of the first physicians to identify the link between migraineurs and changes in the brain’s white matter. In November of 1992 he, along with radiologist Dr. Hal Friedman published an article in the journal Headache identifying the changes. That article can be found on our website by searching by title – MRI in Migraines……. BBC News Health 8/28/13