Migraine as a risk factor for stroke

I’ve read that migraine is an increased risk factor for stroke, but I’ve read articles that state both that it’s migraine and migraine with aura. I’m wondering if it’s only with aura or both? I’ve had migraine without aura for about 10 years, which turned from episodic to chronic in 2010. I recently had a mild stroke which left my left side weak and with some cognitive impairment. I’m a 57 year-old woman with no known risk factors for stroke. The doctors can’t explain why it happened, but I am thankful that it wasn’t worse.


Community Answers
  • Jennsbadbrain
    5 months ago

    I’m worried about this too. My doctor said if I don’t smoke, drink heavily and I exercise I’m at a very low risk for future stroke but this has to be causing damage. Unfortunately I have a super high insurance deductible so running to a neurologist every time I have a problem, isn’t an option. I’m getting ready to have an aura/migraine now and I’m terrified every time it happens.

  • Sarah.wallin
    5 months ago

    Jennsbadbrain, I’m sorry to hear you worry about this too. It can be terrifying to think about. It sounds like you’re doing everything you can to understand your risk level and take necessary precautions. We do have an article about migraine vs. stroke that might be a helpful read (https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-versus-stroke/). Keep us posted on how you are feeling. Wishing some relief for you. -Sarah (Migraine.com Team)

  • Andrea author
    5 months ago

    Hi Joanna
    Thank you for the links. The stroke was on Memorial Day Weekend, 2018, so it was recent. I was in a medical hospital for 5 days, then in a rehabilitation facility for 3 weeks, where I received intensive physical, occupational and cognitive therapy, 3-4 hours a day, 6 days a week. I’m on disability from work, receiving services at home and still using a walker to get around. My prognosis is optimistic, but the unknown factor is time, since everyone’s stroke is different. I was working as a psychiatric social worker in a high stress position (the stress might have been a contributing factor) and whether I will be able to return to that specific job remains to be seen.

  • Joanna Bodner moderator
    5 months ago

    Hi there @Andrea1961, Thanks for your question. I am so sorry to hear that you experienced a mild stroke. Are you still experiencing weakness & cognitive impairments? How terribly scary. As this article points one may be more at risk of stroke with migraine and in particular, migraine with aura. Hope you find this article helpful. https://migraine.com/living-with-migraine/migraine-and-stroke/
    Thanks so much for being here & taking the time to reach out to our community. Always feel free to do so!

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