The Migraine Aura Brain: New Revelations

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Migraine with aura could be linked with brain damage, according to an analysis of 19 medical studies which was just released. Screaming headaches, nausea, and extreme light sensitivity typical of chronic migraines with aura often occur in people with minor brain damage in the pain-sensitive white-matter areas, as observed in MRI brain scans of migraine patients.

The Migraine Aura Brain: New Revelations

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People who suffer from severe migraines with aura, including symptoms of crushing headaches, gut-wrenching stomach pain, and visual disturbances are 1.7 times more likely than non-migraineurs to have increased abnormalities of the brain. Results from the study conducted by the Montefiore Headache Center, Bronx, N.Y. were published recently in Neurology.

However, scientists aren’t clear if the MRI results indicate a “migraine brain” pattern that can be used to predict your risk for getting chronic migraines with aura, or if what they are witnessing is the result of brain damage from constant migraine attacks.

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“Part of the message I hope to communicate here is: If you have migraine with aura and you have white-matter lesions, they’re probably not a cause of concern,” said Dr. Richard B. Lipton, study co-author and lead neurologist of the New York hospital, referring to the lack of any evidence suggesting that brain scarring may impact cognitive health or nervous system integrity.

Millions of US citizens suffer from chronic migraines, and about 1/3 of migraine patients also experience migraine aura, a phenomenon which precedes migraine attacks and creates stroke-like symptoms: faintness, partial paralysis, vertigo, olfactory hallucinations, speech slurring, and strange visual disturbances, such as blind spots, flashing lights, and black voids.

People who get migraines with aura have an increased risk for stroke and epilepsy, both conditions which affect the brain, in addition to heart attack, according to latest studies.

Please tell us…

If you suffer from migraines with aura, are you likely to submit to MRI brain testing? Have you also experienced illnesses that correlate with migraine aura, such as stroke and epilepsy?

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

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