TUESDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-aged women who have migraine with aura may be more likely than women without headaches to show cerebellar infarct-like lesions on MRI later in life, according to a study in the June 24 Journal of the American Medical Association.
Ann I. Scher, Ph.D., of the University of Iceland in Reykjavik, and colleagues studied 4,689 members of the 1907 to 1935 birth cohort who were interviewed in midlife about migraine symptoms. In 2002 to 2006, the subjects underwent brain MRIs that identified infarct-like lesions in 39.3 percent of the men and 24.6 percent of the women.
The researchers found that migraine with aura was significantly associated with late-life infarct-like lesions (adjust odds ratio, 1.4) but only in women. Compared to women reporting no headaches, women with migraine with aura had a significantly higher prevalence of infarcts (23 versus 14.5 percent), while the prevalence was similar in men with no headaches and those with migraine with aura (19.3 and 21.3 percent, respectively). They found no association between migraine without aura and non-migraine headache with infarcts.
"The clinical implications of the Age Gene/Environment Susceptibility-Reykjavik study should be interpreted with caution," state the authors of an accompanying editorial. "In the absence of the source and the nature of infarct-like lesions and the absence of clinical symptoms or consequences, it is premature to conclude that migraine has hazardous effects on the brain."
Authors of the study and editorial reported financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry.
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