New research shows that migraines accompanied by aura can have a longer impact on the brain. In comparison to the older view which believed that migraines were benign and had no impact in the longer run, this new revelation reveals that certain types of migraines can be harmful and result in as serious as strokes. People who suffered from migraine with aura are more susceptible to harmful effects in the longer run as shown by researchers at the Montefiore Headache Center.
Dr. Richard Lipton from the center has said that the tests conducted showed how drastic were the structural changes in the brains of those patients that suffered from migraine accompanied by aura. When one talks of aura, it is accompanied by flashes of light, zigzag lights or spots, in extreme cases it leads to weakness of the motor functions. Now migraine is a severe form of headache which is usually defined as a throbbing pain that brings with it a feeling of nausea as well as sensitivity to light or sound.
Dr. Lipton along with Dr. Messoud Ashina have conducted several tests and analysed people’s brains who were suffering from migraine to those suffering from migraine with aura as well as those who do not have any migraine problem. In MRI scans what they discovered was that the first two cases – those suffering from migraine as well as those that also had aura; there were white matter lesions detected in the brain and the volume of the brain has been observed to change in comparison to those not suffering from migraine. Those who had aura had higher chances of developing white matter lesions and those patients who had migraine without aura had around 34% chance of developing white matter lesions.
The white matter lesions according to Dr. Lipton did not pose any serious threat as they only cause disruption in brain axons but there is nothing to worry about. He proceeds to tell that it is the infarct-like lesions that are a threat to a migraine patient. The patient’s risk of stroke increases as these lesions disrupt the flow of blood to the brain. The risk is increased for those patients who have aura along with migraine in comparison to those who only suffer from migraine. According to Dr. Lipton such lesions increased in number as time passed since the time one has been suffering from migraine and it also depended on the number of attacks. If the migraine with aura is decreased then growth of such lesions is also decreased.
One should avoid the factors and the reasons that cause such a type of migraine to reduce the lesions. Another change that is observed in the brain is the reduction of the grey matter. Now the grey matter is where all the bodies of the nerve cells are found. A certain kind of loss of memory is attached with this but it is not of a permanent nature. Dr. Lipton says that if there is a reduction in migraine then there is a reversal of shrinkage. He hopes that his research will be of help for such patients and can prevent such long term problems.