A new study on stroke risk with migraines has led researchers to believe that older migraine sufferers are more likely to experience “silent brain injury” than non-migraineurs of the same age, according to the American Heart Association.
Stroke risk with migraines: study details
A new article published by Stroke claims that people who suffer from frequent migraine attacks- throbbing head pain, nausea, stomach cramps, hypersensitivity to light- are twice as likely to suffer a stroke than their peers who don’t experience migraine headaches.
Here are the details of the migraine aura and stroke study:
- Researchers examined 546 participants, average age 70 years.
- Most (442) did not suffer from migraines, while 104 participants had a history of chronic migraine attacks.
- About 40% of the participants were male.
- Using MRI scans, scientists found a two-fold risk for silent brain infarctions in migraine patients, even after accounting for separate stroke risk factors.
- The prevalence of aura with migraines (migraines with aura) didn’t seem to make a difference in relation to silent stroke risk.
More details on the migraine study can be found here:
Migraine, White Matter Hyperintensities, and Subclinical Brain Infarction in a Diverse Community
What’s a silent stroke?
A silent brain infarction (silent stroke) is minor brain damage usually caused by a blood clot in the veins which lead to the brain. While a silent stroke isn’t dangerous or likely to cause symptoms, it shouldn’t be ignored. For migraine sufferers, a silent stroke can be a precursor to a life-threatening stroke in the near future.
Will preventing migraines help to reduce your risk for stroke? That’s what researchers are still trying to prove.
What they can offer is this: if your migraine attacks are triggered by hypertension, then you should make a concerted effort to exercise, eat more vegetables, and follow an intensive vitamin regimen that maximizes on nutrients for healthy blood pressure, mitochondrial integrity, and good neurological functioning.
Still, as the study found that even migraineurs with normal blood pressure are at considerable risk for stroke, it’s important to discuss basic migraine and stroke prevention with your doctor, especially if you are nearing old age.
What’s your opinion on stroke risk with migraines?
After reading this, are you more likely to
- change your diet
- identify more migraine triggers in your daily life, or
- start a new vitamin regimen containing nutrients that are proven to benefit migraine sufferers, such as riboflavin, butterbur, coenzyme Q10 or magnesium?
Migraine Headache Visits that involve Brain Scans-This Number will Surprise you
Image by Victor Habbick