Studies Show Some Middle-Age Migraineurs Go On To Develop Parkinson’s At Old Age (1)
A recent study conducted at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, and published in the medical journal Neurology (of the American Academy of Neurology) , showed that there was a link between migraines and the development of Parkinson’s Disease.
Though severe migraine attacks are considered as disabling as serious illnesses such as dementia, active psychosis or even quadriplegia, it is still the most under-funded and less researched of all neurological diseases in the world.
As per lead author of the study, Ann I. Scher, M.D migraines are the most common brain disorder among both the sexes linked to both cerebrovascular and heart disease. However, the study exhibited that the link between middle-age migraining and Parkinson’s is stronger for women who suffer migraines with aura. She says, “This new possible association is one more reason research is needed to understand, prevent and treat the condition.” (2)
The research involved 5620 persons from Iceland for a period of 25 years. Their ages were between 33 and 65 years at the time when the study began. Of the 5620 persons studied, 1028 had headaches without migraine symptoms, 238 had migraines without aura and 430 experienced migraines with aura. Here are the result highlights: (3)
- Migraineurs with aura twice as likely to develop Parkinson’s later than Migraineurs without aura
- 1% of the persons without headaches developed Parkinson’s later when compared to 2.4% who developed it and had migraines with aura.
- People with migraine with aura were also around 3.6 times more likely to report at least four of the six symptoms of Parkinson’s, and people with migraine without aura were 2.3 times more likely.
- Overall rates in absolute terms were as:
- In people with migraine with aura: 19.7%
- In people with migraine without aura: 12.6%
- In people with no headaches at all: 7.5%.
According to Scher, “A dysfunction in the brain messenger dopamine is common to both Parkinson’s and Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), and has been hypothesized as a possible cause of migraine for many years. Symptoms of migraine such as excessive yawning, nausea and vomiting are thought to be related to dopamine receptor stimulation. More research should focus on exploring this possible link through genetic studies”
- Image Credit: Frustrated Caucasian Woman by Stock Images; Freedigitalphotos.net; Web October 2014; http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Emotions_g96-Frustrated_Caucasian_Woman_p81435.html
- Link Found Between Migraine And Parkinson’s; Medical News Today; Web October 2014; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/282678.php
- Migraines In Middle Age, Parkinson’s Risk Later? WebMD.com; Web October 2014; http://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/news/20140917/are-migraines-in-middle-age-tied-to-raised-parkinsons-risk-later
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Women Migraineurs Experiencing Aura Are At An Increased Risk Of Suffering All Stroke Types (1)
A research that studied 28,000 women has found that such women as those who experience migraines with aura – either visual or sensational and non-visual are at a significantly increased risk of suffering from all types of strokes (ischemic or hemorrhagic ) as those compared to women who do not experience migraines. The findings of the study are to be presented at the International Headache Congress 2013 at Boston. (2)
Ischemic strokes occur when there is a blockage causing reduced blood supply to any part of the brain leading to brain cell and tissue death. Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when an artery in the brain ruptures and causes bleeding in the brain.
Visual aura in migraineurs is a neurological phenomenon typified by visual aberrations or distortions such as perceiving an image as partly broken or with zigzag lines, experiencing blind spots, having a vision festered with sparks or flashing and shimmering lights, inability to gauge distance or margin between two objects. It could involve seeing of wavy lines and experiencing hallucinations. (3)
Aura a migraineur may suffer from may be non-visual in nature such as experiencing vertigo, numbness of tongue, feeling pins and needles on the palms and face or even experiencing of motor debility.
According to Dr. Tobias Kurth, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston , “Migraine with aura has been consistently linked with increased risk of ischemic stroke and there is also some evidence that it increases risk of hemorrhagic stroke. In this study we sought to determine the importance of migraine with aura in stroke occurrence relative to other stroke risk factors” (4)
The following observations were made during the study:
Migraineurs With Aura
|Base Year or Year 0
- 430 Ischemic
- 96 Hemorrhagic
- 02 Unknown strokes
It was concluded in the news release that for total, ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, migraine with aura was a strong relative contributor.
Caution: The data and conclusions of research presented at medical meetings are typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.
- Image Credit: Woman Holding Her Head; Photographer: Marin; FreeDigitalPhotos.net; http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/agree-terms.php?id=100173635
- Migraine With Aura May Be Linked to All Stroke Types; Medicinet.com; Web June 2013; http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=170823
- Migraines With Aura, Chapter 5, Page 34; Migraines For The Informed Woman by Mamta Singh; ISBN: 978-81-291-1517-1; June 2013; http://www.amazon.com/Migraines-Informed-Woman-Tips-Sufferer/dp/8129115174
- Migraine With Aura May Be Linked to All Stroke Types; WebMD.com; Web June 2013; http://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/news/20130626/migraine-with-aura-may-be-linked-to-all-stroke-types
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