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Rigshospitalet - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Migraine and structural abnormalities in the brain

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PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The aim is to provide an overview of recent studies of structural brain abnormalities in migraine and to discuss the potential clinical significance of their findings.

RECENT FINDINGS: Brain structure continues to be a topic of extensive research in migraine. Despite advances in neuroimaging techniques, it is not yet clear if migraine is associated with grey matter changes. Recent large population-based studies sustain the notion of increased prevalence of white matter abnormalities in migraine, and possibly of silent infarct-like lesions. The clinical relevance of this association is not clear. Structural changes are not related to cognitive decline, but a link to an increased risk of stroke, especially in patients with aura, cannot be ruled out.

SUMMARY: Migraine may be a risk factor for structural changes in the brain. It is not yet clear how factors such as migraine sub-type, attack frequency, and sex affects this association. Additional longitudinal studies are needed to address these issues. Brain structure changes in migraine could potentially serve as disease biomarkers or as a mean of identifying sub-groups of patients with specific therapeutic needs and prognoses.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Opinion in Neurology
Volume27
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)309-14
Number of pages6
ISSN1350-7540
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014

    Research areas

  • Brain, Brain Infarction, Gray Matter, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Migraine Disorders, White Matter

ID: 45039738