Friday, April 01, 2011

Is There A Link Between Migraine and Stroke?

Migraine is a fairly common type of headache, which might occur with symptoms like nausea, vomiting or sensitivity to light. For many victims of migraine, a shocking pain is felt only on one side of their heads.

There is no cure for migraine but medications could help reduce the frequency and severity of migraine. With the appropriate drugs together with self-help remedies and lifestyle changes, migraine can greatly be relieved.

Nevertheless, people with migraine should be more careful because they will face additional medical disorders, based on the findings published in 2010 in the ‘American Journal of Medicine’.

After analyzing the results of 21 International studies previously conducted between 1975 and 2007 involving more than 622,000 adults with and without migraine, researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore found that people with migraine are about twice as likely as people without migraine to develop ischemic stroke (a common stroke that is caused by blood clot in the brain). Most of the studies also took into account factors that might link migraine to stroke risk. These factors include age, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking habits and weight.

It is unclear whether the migraine itself would directly lead to stroke for some people, but one thing is sure: pain does involve constriction, and then swelling, of brain blood vessels. So researchers suspect that people with migraine might have dysfunction in the blood vessels throughout the body that might explain the higher risk of stroke and heart attack.

While researchers believe that a common process is likely to contribute to both migraine and stroke risk, they are not sure whether treating and preventing migraine could reduce the people’s risk of cardiovascular events (include heart disease and stroke). As such, suffers of migraine are warned to pay great attention in controlling any modifiable risk factors, such as high blood pressure, smoking and diabetes, for stroke.

Meanwhile, researchers also clarified that while migraine are associated with a higher risk of stroke, the absolute risk remains fairly low to any one person.

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