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Migraine and Risk of Stroke

  • By Arosie005

    Hi there, I too have had migraines since I was 6 or 7. They have gotten worse over the last year and a half and have been in the ER a 4 times in the last year. They recently did a series of MRIs, first one they said they found something and needed to do more… They wouldn’t tell me what but that they were bringing in someone else to talk about it…. Can you imagine the freak out I had for a week up until the next one?!
    They did two more and told me that they are white matter brain lesions as well. They said they aren’t a serious concern yet but that they need to be monitored. People can get them from a variety of things aside from migraines.
    She said in a couple months if they have increased in number they will be more concerned. Until then we have been fighting like crazy to find a good preventative so that this damage can be stopped.
    She said it can be caused from serious migraines restricting blood flow and causing capillaries to collapse.
    Anyway, long story somewhat short, these white matter brain lesions are really unknown in what they do, but pose a higher risk for stroke to some.

    All I can think when I get a serious migraine now though is that my brain is dying while I writhe in pain, awful I know.
    Why can’t there be more info coming out about these damn things!!!

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  • By Teri Robert

    Hello, Aro,

    I’ve read all the research papers I can get my hands on about these white matter lesions as well as our increased risk of stroke and other cardiovascular events and disease.

    So far, all evidence points to the white matter lesions being what they call “subclinical,” which means that they’re not causing any symptoms. Migraine researchers and specialists are concerned that the lesions may indicate that Migraine is a progressive disease and say the best we can do for ourselves is to work with our doctors toward a treatment regimen that prevents as many Migraines as possible and stops those Migraines we get as soon as possible.

    We have an article here about cardiovascular comorbidities and risks at https://migraine.com/blog/living-with-migraine/comorbidities-migraine-and-cardiovascular-risks/.

    Hope this helps. Please, don’t let any of it panic you. Talk with your doctor and do what you can to reduce your modifiable risk factors, and come back here to talk with us if you need to.

    Teri

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