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publicado em 27/01/2011 às 02h00:00
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Migraines and headaches did not impair cognitive function

Study showed that cerebral microvascular lesions produced no adverse effects on the brain

 
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Foto: © Inserm/ T. Kurth et al
MRI scans of two study participants EVA. Left without detectable lesions can be seen. On the right, many lesions are visualized as hyperintensities (arrows)
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MRI scans of two study participants EVA. Left without detectable lesions can be seen. On the right, many lesions are visualized as hyperintensities (arrows)

Headaches associated with significant and frequent small lesions in the brain do not increase risk of cognitive decline. The conclusion of researchers at the Research Institute Inserm, France, based on results from a study of 800 individuals over 65 years of age.

Brain Injury

Recent studies have used MRI to study the brains of migraine patients and showed that most of these patients had more lesions in the brain microvasculature than the rest of the population. Lesions in the brain microvessels, visible in MRI brain images, can be of various types: white matter hyperintensities and, more rarely, silent infarctions leading to loss of white matter.

They result from a deterioration of small cerebral arteries that supply blood to the brain's white matter, the material that ensures, among other things, the passage of information between different parts of the brain.

These lesions are observed in almost all elderly. However, the severity varies greatly from one individual to another. Furthermore, it was shown that they are more severe among patients with hypertension and diabetics.

A large amount of hyperintense brain leads to many complications, cognitive impairment, increased risk of Alzheimer's disease, depression, movement disorders and increased risk of stroke.

Moreover, according to several studies, the presence of a large amount of brain injury increases the risk of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's. Based on these data, the research team, led by Christophe Tzouri, arrived at the hypothesis that migraine could "damage" the brain.

The study

To test this hypothesis, the researchers assessed the impact of migraine on cognitive function in a group of individuals over the age of 65 years, recruited from the general population, in Nantes, and followed them for a period of 10 years.

The brain MRI was performed in more than 800 participants and these individuals were also asked about their headaches by a neurologist.

Cognitive tests carried out involved the short-term memory, speed and the ability to correctly carry out the specific tasks.

The results show that 21% of people suffer or have suffered from severe headaches throughout their lives. For more than 70% of these, it was migraines. MRI scans for those participants who had severe headaches confirmed that they are twice as likely to have a lot of brain microvascular injury.

In contrast, cognitive performance was similar for individuals with or without headaches and for those who had no brain damage or microvascular.

"This result is a very comforting for many people who suffer from migraines. Despite the increased presence of microvascular cerebral lesions, this disorder does not increase the risk of cognitive decline. Therefore, no significant adverse effects on the brain of migraine," concluded study's lead author Tobias Kurth.

Source: Isaude.net
   Palavras-chave:   Migraines    Headaches    Cognitive function    Research Institute Inserm    Tobias Kurth   
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