Midlife Migraine Predicts Brain Infarcts Later in Life

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- Migraines in midlife with accompanying visual aura predict later-life brain infarcts, according to a poster presentation at the annual meeting of the American Neurological Association.

Furthermore, the relationship between migraine with aura and late-life cortical and cerebellar infarcts "was not explained by measured cardiovascular risk factors," wrote the authors.

In a longitudinal, population-based MRI study, A.I. Scher, Ph.D., of the National Institute on Aging, in Bethesda, Md., and associates looked at 1,843 subjects (812 men) from the Reykjavik (Iceland) Study, which began in 1967. All patients were born between 1907 and 1935, and had an average follow-up of 25 years. "Midlife" assessments took place at an average age of 49 (range of 34-59 years) and "late-life" assessments occurred at an average age of 75 (range of 66-90 years).

For patients who reported headache either once or more per month, data were gathered about associated nausea or vomiting, unilateral location, phototopia, visual disturbance during/just before headache, and any unilateral numbness before headache. Subjects also were assessed for cardiovascular risk factors, including blood pressure, total cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting glucose, hypertension, diabetes, and whether they smoked. …