PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The aim is to provide an overview of recent studies of structural brain abnormalities in migraine and to discuss the potential clinical significance of their findings. RECENT FINDINGS: Brain structure continues to be a topic of extensive research in migraine. Despite advances in neuroimaging techniques, it is not yet clear if migraine is associated with grey matter changes. Recent large population-based studies sustain the notion of increased prevalence of white matter abnormalities in migraine, and possibly of silent infarct-like lesions. The clinical relevance of this association is not clear. Structural changes are not related to cognitive decline, but a link to an increased risk of stroke, especially in patients with aura, cannot be ruled out. SUMMARY: Migraine may be a risk factor for structural changes in the brain. It is not yet clear how factors such as migraine sub-type, attack frequency, and sex affects this association. Additional longitudinal studies are needed to address these issues. Brain structure changes in migraine could potentially serve as disease biomarkers or as a mean of identifying sub-groups of patients with specific therapeutic needs and prognoses.
Journal review article
Current Opinion in Neurology, 2014, Vol 27, Issue 3, p. 309-314
Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review; Brain; Brain Infarction; Gray Matter; Humans; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Migraine Disorders; White Matter