A migraine may change your brain
August 28th, 2013
07:09 PM ET

A migraine may change your brain

Some 37 million Americans suffer from migraines, those incredibly painful and often debilitating headaches. While they've been known to knock a person out, migraines weren't thought to permanently affect the brain - until now.  A new study published Wednesday in the journal Neurology suggests migraines may indeed leave a mark.

"Our review and meta-analysis study suggests that the disorder may permanently alter brain structure in multiple ways," said study author Dr. Messoud Ashina, a neurologist at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.


A migraine is a common type of headache where throbbing pain is typically felt on just one side of the head.  Sufferers experience sensitivity to light, nausea and vomiting. Women are three times more likely to be affected by migraines than men.

According to the American Migraine Foundation, migraines cost the United States more than $20 billion a year in both direct medical expenses like doctor visits and medication and indirectly when employees miss work resulting in lost productivity.

About 20% of migraine sufferers experience an aura - a warning symptom 20 minutes to an hour before a migraine begins. It's usually in the form of visual disturbances like wavy lines, dots or flashing lights, tingling in the face or arms, even difficulty speaking.

The study focused on three types of abnormalities that were detected by magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI. MRI tests use a magnetic field and radio wave energy to take pictures of organs inside the body. They can detect problems that often cannot be seen with an X-ray or ultrasound imaging.

The study

Researchers reviewed six population-based studies and 13 clinic-based studies to see if migraine sufferers had an increased risk of brain lesions, white matter abnormalities (WMAs), infarct-like lesions (ILLs), or brain volume changes in both the gray and white matter regions of the brain.  Infarct-like lesions – also called “silent” strokes, are changes neurologists usually see on MRI scans that look like minor strokes.

The results

According to the study, the risk of white matter brain lesions increased 68% for those suffering migraines with aura, compared to non-migraine sufferers. Those who suffered from migraines without aura saw that increased risk cut in half (34%), but they too could get lesions in the part of the brain that is comprised of nerve fibers.  

Researchers also found white matter abnormalities are not limited to migraines; they also occur in non-migraine headaches.  And people with migraines and migraines with aura were also more likely to have brain volume changes than those who don't suffer from migraines. But what these white matter abnormalities lead to is still unclear. That's why Ashina says more long-term studies are needed.

"Migraine affects about 10 to 15% of the general population and can cause a substantial personal, occupational and social burden," said Ashina. "We hope that through more study, we can clarify the association of brain structure changes to attack frequency and length of the disease. We also want to find out how these lesions may influence brain function."


While migraines might be associated with structural changes in the brain, there's no cause for concern, Ashima determined.

"Studies of white matter changes showed no relationship to migraine frequency or cognitive status of patients."

Dr. MaryAnn Mays, a staff neurologist at the Center for Headache & Pain at the Cleveland Clinic, who was not involved in the research, agreed. 

"What this study does demonstrate is yes, brain changes are more common in patients with migraines and probably are more common in patients with migraine aura," Mays told CNN. "The good news is that ... long-term cognitive changes were not seen, even though these brain changes were apparent on imaging."

So do these brain changes pose problem?

"I don't think overall in the long-term migraine sufferers need to be concerned," Mays said. "However, clinicians should screen for cardiovascular risk factors that may be apparent and can be modified - such as hypertension and high cholesterol - that could be contributing to white matter lesions that are unrelated to the migraine."

Mays is confident that headache experts are going to continue to monitor these changes to determine if it will have any impact on the health of migraine sufferers.

soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. William Russian Jr.

    Well, that clears that up. My wife blames my mental state on my drinking and now I can prove to her she's not the only headache effecting my judgement.

    August 29, 2013 at 09:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • PK Kulshrestha

      I was patient of Accute Migrain, suffered from last so many years (since 1996) and having all types of treatments, but couldn't find much relief. Now I focused on the reasons which effect me to hv migrain- I found & did the following:

      1. Monitor the diet which particular effect- i.e. in my case -Paneer, Patatto, Red chilli, Rich fat- Ghee etc. I started to avoid /reduce these

      2. Your pillow is the reason while slipping- this should be soft / adjustable to your neck pressure.

      3. Lack of sleep

      4. When you had started migrain attack- pl. try accupressure your neck, back of ears, rear side of brain, forehead sides. You will immidiately get/find relief.

      4. Whenever I feel the Miagrain attack started, I used to take 2nos. DESPRINE TABLETE , Disolved in the water, Within 15~60 min.. I get relief from Migrain.

      5. Incase of severe migrain attack, drink lot of water i.e 2~3 glass, and vommit to empty out the stomach. This will take out all the acid formation and you will feel much relieved.

      6 .I stopped all other medicine and focussed only on my diet to avoid migrain attack and particular pillow to sleep.
      7. Pl try do not keep you stomach empty, take some snacks/ food at regular interval. this will avoid acid formation severe attack,which is main reason of migraain..

      I strongly belief that 80% of disease, can be cured by controlling your diet ingredients only.

      Please try, if you find relief or better option, pl convey to me at email ID:pkkulshrestha@yahoo.com

      PK Kulshrestha

      April 26, 2014 at 20:36 | Report abuse |
  2. AMW

    I suffer from migraines, and have in the past 5 years averaged 26 days of migraine pain a month. No meds have worked. I have repeatedly felt that doctors other than my primary physician who is familiar with my case tend to write me off as a hysteric or worse – a drug seeker. I am currently looking into surgical options and hope more studies like this will pave the way for more compassion for those with migraine or other forms of chronic pain. I work full time and am a mother of two – and don't want to be called "lazy" for those times that I need to lay down in a dark room. Understanding breeds solutions.

    August 29, 2013 at 09:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Marie, R.N.

      I am also a migraneur (a migraine sufferer). HAVE you seen a board-certified Neurologist? Until I saw one, starting several years ago, I never got any real relief from my frequent migraines, that are (in my case) very definitely family-related. That is, my grandmother, her mother, my uncle, my cousin, my adult son, all have migraines.....probably others I don't know of.
      This is very common by the way.
      A neurologist SHOULD give you an EEG, a brain MRI and/or CT scan, and try various medications on you, some may work, some may not. In my case the Triptan family of prescription medications (Imitrex, and now many others) have worked wonderfully. There are also others I've tried, at different times, w/ varying degrees of success. A neurologist should definitely take you seriously, know about migraines, how they work, their symptoms, and all the rest of it. PLEASE go to see one.....make sure he/ or she is "board certified" ( you should make sure of this on every physician you see......it means they've had additional training and some very difficult testing, in their primary area of practice). Good luck!

      August 29, 2013 at 09:53 | Report abuse |
    • JR


      What your doctor may not be aware of is that the 'classic psychedelics' have been shown to be very effective at stopping and preventing migraines such as the ones you describe. This is possible at sub-hallucinogenic doses. LSD has been shown to be the most effective but since it is difficult to acquire a lot of severe migraine sufferers have gone so far as to raise their own psilocybin mushrooms and take regular low doses. Obviously this is illegal, but if you are looking into serious surgery then you may want to consider your options. clusterbusters.com has more information if you are interested.

      August 29, 2013 at 10:02 | Report abuse |
    • RM

      My son has been with Migraines latest for 5+ years . He used all kinds of medications, MRI, massage treatment. Unfortunately, I did not help. Recently, he start using Ayurveda (Herbal) treatment. He mentioned he is feeling much better with Migraine pain. He needs to still work on the issues with sleeping that caused by Migranes. This is my opinion.

      August 29, 2013 at 10:08 | Report abuse |
    • 5-HT3 and sex steroids

      JR: LSD and psilocin are both pro-serotonergic drugs that will work similarly to sumatryptan (Imitrex) to treat early migraine. Since LSD and psilocibin are both illegal and unavailable in pure, reliable form, it would be best if people stuck with approved drugs although reearch really should be done with hallucinogens for this and related applications.

      For women with chronic, debilitating migraine, try hormonal contraceptives with no menstruation and if that makes you much worse, consider tamoxifen or ovariohysterectomy. That will send you into menopause but might give you your life back. Consider all your alternatives because quality of life is all that matters. If you have 26 days of migraine and 3 of those good days are during your period, that's a big clue on what to try next.

      August 29, 2013 at 12:47 | Report abuse |
    • JustASugestion

      As a migraine sufferer from the time of puberty, I feel your pain and am sorry you are dealing with this. I had a migraine every single day. The only thing that varied was the degree of pain. This determined whether I could function or whether I had to go into my "dark cave". I knew that hormones were definitely a contributing factor as it was a given that during my period, my migraines were at their most intense. I don't know if it is an option for you but long term birth control may help. I did 3 months continues pills so that I would only have my period every 3 months. Once I finally reached my early 40's, my doctor believed me when I said I did not intend to have children and did a complete hysterectomy about 6 weeks ago. I have not had a single migraine since the surgery!!

      August 29, 2013 at 14:40 | Report abuse |
    • Fiona

      I have familial migraine with aura, and I went through a few years of having attacks twice a week. Since the headaches last 2-3 days, that means I was constantly in full-blown migraine, pre-migraine, or post-migraine (rebound headaches and flu-like symptoms). I am able to take sumatriptan (Immitrex), which takes down a mirgaine one it has started, but I have found more consistent relief from taking the herbal supplement Butterbur. Look it up: there are solid, sicentific, double-blind studies done in it. My headaches are infrequent now.

      August 29, 2013 at 14:46 | Report abuse |
    • SmokieCat

      To Just a Suggestion
      Do you use HRT? I have had hormonal migraines for 15 years and scheduled for my hyst in 7 weeks but have been told they are leaving my ovaries in. Neurologist has stated for years that if you have migraines before hyst that you will have them afterwards so there is no point of having the hyst for that reason. BC worked to control but due to Thrombosis HRT will not be available can complete hyst is not an option. Currently take 500 mg Topamax for preventative and Imitrex with onset and can be up to 4 pills to rid then deal with the hangover.

      August 30, 2013 at 14:24 | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer

      Have you considered changing your diet? By eliminating nitrates and nitrites, you can ease the constriction of blood vessels in the brain. I know this because that is what I did. I also eliminated or greatly reduced my consumption of MSG.

      August 30, 2013 at 16:48 | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer

      Have you considered changing your diet? By eliminating nitrates and nitrites, you can ease the constriction of blood vessels in the brain. I know this because that is what I did. I also eliminated or greatly reduced my consumption of MSG. This combined with exercise made my headaches disappear almost entirely. I still get them, but not as intense or frequent.

      August 30, 2013 at 16:51 | Report abuse |
    • PK Kulshrestha

      I was patient of Accute Migrain, suffered from last so many years (since 1996) and having all types of treatments, but couldn't find much relief. Now I focused on the reasons which effect me to hv migrain- I found & did the following:

      1. Monitor the diet which particular effect- i.e. in my case -Paneer, Patatto, Red chilli, Rich fat- Ghee etc. I started to avoid /reduce these

      2. Your pillow is the reason while slipping- this should be soft / adjustable to your neck pressure.

      3. Lack of sleep

      4. When you had started migrain attack- pl. try accupressure your neck, back of ears, rear side of brain, forehead sides. You will immidiately get/find relief.

      4. Whenever I feel the Miagrain attack started, I used to take 2nos. DESPRINE TABLETE , Disolved in the water, Within 15~60 min.. I get relief from Migrain.

      5. Incase of severe migrain attack, drink lot of water i.e 2~3 glass, and vommit to empty out the stomach. This will take out all the acid formation and you will feel much relieved.

      6 .I stopped all other medicine and focussed only on my diet to avoid migrain attack and particular pillow to sleep.

      I strongly belief that 80% of disease, can be cured by controlling your diet ingredients only.

      Please try, if you find relief or better option, pl convey to me at email ID:pkkulshrestha@yahoo.com

      PK Kulshrestha

      April 26, 2014 at 19:56 | Report abuse |
  3. Marie, R.N.

    Migraines have also been shown, on EEGs, to resemble the brains of people having a type of seizure. They are NOT simply "bad headaches"......as we migraneurs all know.
    But there are now various medications out there that can, for most of us, control the symptoms w/out making us "high", drowsy, sedated, unable to drive or to work, etc.
    Go to a board-certified Neurologist for help w/ this. If you're with one, and he/she hasn't helped you, in a fair amount of time, (at least 6 mos) w/ you cooperating totally w/ him/her, then CHANGE to another one, not in the same group.

    August 29, 2013 at 09:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Karen

      I was hospitalized last year with a Migraine with aura that acted like a stroke the Neurologist said it was called a Complicated/Complex migraine and put me on medication that when I feel one coming on, it really helps mine and keeps them from going really bad like this last one. So there is really good meds out there that do work wonders, but this is a low dose narcotic plus caffeine, and of course other drugs in it.. All I know is that it has a long shelf life and I keep in my house all of the time for mine.

      August 29, 2013 at 17:27 | Report abuse |
    • nepbchz4

      I have had migraines now for the past 16 years, I can not count the number of doctors and board-certified neurologist, and anyone/everyone else I could think of for help. I have taken every type of drug made for headaches/migraines and others that are off brand type drugs for headaches and still no relief. The headaches/migraines are everyday and the only difference is the level of pain. I have lost my job and marriage is failing due to my migraines.

      August 30, 2013 at 08:29 | Report abuse |
  4. NS

    I agree with ayruvedic approach for migraine. My husband had migraines for 1+ year which would occur three to four times a week. After ayruvedic treament for migraine he is fully recovered in about three months. It is very safe approach then taking any medication.

    August 29, 2013 at 11:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • of drugs and drugs

      If your husband is "taking" aryuvedic as a drug, it is a drug. A drug is a substance injested to effect a biological change. Please don't malign purified, tested, inspected drugs in favor of untested, impure and unregulated materials. Remember, if a substance has the potential to do good, it can also do bad. Caffeine is a drug commonly vectored in coffee, tea and sodas. Not all drugs come from "big pharma" but all drugs have effects on the body and all drugs can do good and bad.

      August 29, 2013 at 12:55 | Report abuse |
  5. sortedsortof

    Cluster headaches have not been mentioned, I suppose, because there are fewer of us. 80% of these occur in men and are worse in the area of pain than migraines (according to studies). Nothing has been able to stop them and, yes, I have been going to a neurologist for five years now. By the way, I think my brain is going down real fast also.

    August 29, 2013 at 11:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JR

      As someone who hates to see people suffering unnecessarily when there is a cheap, viable solution to their pain I am going to plug this one last time and then shutup. Go to clusterbusters.com. Give psilocybin mushrooms a try and hopefully find the relief you are looking for.

      Good luck.

      August 29, 2013 at 11:36 | Report abuse |
    • justme

      JR...Are mushrooms even legal in the states? I honestly don't think they would be but I myself am not into that kind of stuff..BUT if I knew it was legal and it would work, I would try anything!!!

      August 30, 2013 at 01:49 | Report abuse |
  6. AMW

    Marie & JR
    I have seen four neurologists – some of the best board certified in my area. I am in MN – and neither the Mayo Clinic nor the UofM will take me on as a patient because "they do not think they could offer me significant benefits given all I have tried." I have also been to pain clinics and tried every medicine under the sun. I am looking into UWHealth's surgical procedures. Does anybody have any experiences with them?

    August 29, 2013 at 11:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • exbadger

      AMW, I had terrible headache problems that no one could help me with (as does my mother). Terrible. I almost had to drop out of graduate school because I was basically incapacitated half of the time. I had seen other neurologists, who just gave me triptans and sent me on my way. I eventually discovered that the University of Wisconsin clinic system has a headache clinic. I went to one of their doctors, a neuro specializing in migraines, and she was able to give me significant relief. I'm now down to no more than 3-5 bad days a month. Overall, even for other things, I received absolutely top-notch care from UW system doctors and would not hesitate to recommend them (as a group) to anyone.

      August 29, 2013 at 12:21 | Report abuse |
    • Lorraine Freeman

      Have you gotten an MRI of your neck? Have you tried a chiropractor? I found that acupuncture helped tension headaches but had no effect on migraine. Later I had had a headache for two months straight, I had tried the Darvon-Soma-Ibuprofen formula to no avail, Imitrex did not work at all, but my very first visit to a chiropractor got rid of the headache, it was amazing. Also, if you are not sleeping well, that could make matters worse. Perhaps you should get a sleep study. I found Lunesta to be immensely helpful. I've heard Botox shots in the neck might help as well. Good luck.

      August 30, 2013 at 00:16 | Report abuse |
    • Chelle

      I use UW headache clinic as well and it has been life changing for me. I was basically bedbound prior to the clinic and now have 4-5 doozies a month

      April 23, 2015 at 17:46 | Report abuse |
  7. AMW

    Oh – forgot to mention, it's been 10 years of migraines that slowly happened more frequently until I am now where I am. Yes, I have had CT and MRI. I have also had 2 sinus surgeries in hopes that it would help since I also have allergies, and allergies can affect migraines.

    August 29, 2013 at 11:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. TN

    If people are looking for an integrative approach to treat migraines, the Natural Standard database has a lot of good resources to help you out! A lot of people might jump to prescription drugs straight away, but integrative therapies have also proven to be effective. Most notably, there is a lot of evidence to show that feverfew can be used to treat migraines.

    August 29, 2013 at 13:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Htka

      @TN, I tried integrative medicine for migraines including feverfew, no luck 🙁 I was really hoping but had to go back to precription meds.

      August 29, 2013 at 17:39 | Report abuse |
  9. gypsyspun

    I have had migraines since I was about 13 years old. They started out with a sensitivity to light followed my a very bad headache. I didn't know what they were till I was 18 and experienced my first aura. I was walking in a bookstore with my mother when I could no longer focus on anything. I thought I was going blind. My mom told me it was probably a migraine. She was right and I continued to get them off and on for the rest of my life.

    I have been migraine free for nearly six months. I don't drink green tea or diet soda. I started taking Singular for my allergies six months ago. I'm beginning to wonder if the Singular is helping keep my migraines at bay. I still get the occasional nasty headache and light sensitivity, but they are a breeze compared to a classic migraine.

    August 29, 2013 at 13:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. A. Kyle

    For 12 years I've suffered unimaginable migraines, so severe that I would lose my sight. Many lasted for months. No drugs helped. After 5 years, I stopped eating. Two days later, the pain began to subside and fell to a level 6 from a 10 (10 I can not move, speak or see). Then after 4 days I found the first relieve in 6 months of a constant migraine. I introduced food one by one and if I triggered, I eliminated that food from my diet. Today, I can only eat 6 foods, and I take 1800m of Gabapentin per day (Gaba is an anti-seizure medication) and they are under "control" with only levels 1-5 most months with a duration of 4-7 days. My "brain" is indeed changed. My emotional state is "out of control" sometimes and I have been a depressant for 5 years, neither were the case before the migraines. I blame the severe migraines that have changed me and no doctor can tell me otherwise because I have lived with myself for 50 years. SO, I don't care what the medical field says, migraines have had an effect on my emotional state as well as my cognitive state that has been compromised these past 12 years due to severe, chronic migraines.

    August 29, 2013 at 13:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • justme

      I have actually been driving and lost my vision...everything just turned white. I was totally freaked out and I was actually scared and didn't know how to handle the situation. I pulled over just a little and just stopped, thank goodness it only lasted a few seconds. That was the first and only time that has happened to me. The medicine that you mentioned, is that prescribed from the doctor or is it over the counter? i guess when you have migraines as long as I have, I am willing to try anything!! ALL I CAN SAY IS IF ANYONE HAS ANY NEW MEDICINE THAT THEY THINK MIGHT HELP...PLEASE I AM DESPERATE!! I LIVE A MAYBE LIFE!!!

      August 30, 2013 at 01:45 | Report abuse |
  11. JennJ

    I too suffered from migraines 3-4 days a week until I gave up gluten, dairy, eggs, caffeine, Imitrex and all OTC analgesics. After two weeks of suffering my migraines disappeared. This may be a drug free way to eliminate your migraines. Good luck.

    August 29, 2013 at 13:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Htka

      i am considering going this route, do you have any advice, information or links to share for meal plans and recipes? I am worried this change will be very difficult.

      August 29, 2013 at 17:42 | Report abuse |
    • Sixty-yearPerson

      Finally someone mentioned that at least sometimes (and perhaps all the time I suspect) the cause is an allergy. In my case, it took over 40 years to discover that my migraines (with aura) were caused by two things: taking a multi-vitamin or eating cashews. I stopped both and no migraines since then. And others have found similar causes like wine and cheese (I do not drink but love cheese and have had no problem with it). If you have trouble with migraines I would totally change what I intake and if they stop work backwards.

      August 30, 2013 at 07:08 | Report abuse |
    • JennJ

      There's plenty of info available on the web with gluten free recipes. glutenfreegirl is one good one. Many grocery stores now have gluten free sections and natural food stores have numerous choices and usually the employees there can give you some great advice. You'll get sick of reading food labels, but it is so worth it when you can live a migraine free life.

      August 30, 2013 at 17:00 | Report abuse |
  12. Keith

    Look into psuedotumor cerebri – increased intercranial hypertension. Increased spinal fluid to the brain. My wife has had this condition for 1 year and has had 16 spinal taps, multiple MRI MRA MRV and multiple hospital stays. She is going to talk with a neurosurgeon to discuss a shunt surgery.

    August 29, 2013 at 13:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Ann

    I had migraines for 20 years. I started taking Natural Calm magnesium supplement for a different purpose. The best side effect is I stopped having migraines!!!!

    August 29, 2013 at 14:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Geedubbers

    I have suffered migraines my entire life. The ONE AND ONLY thing that has lessoned the frequency and severity of each migraine is the lifestyle change I have made to my diet. 80% vegetables, 20% everything else (organic only) and NO PROCESSED FOODS WHATSOEVER. A single migraine will not kill you. Repeated use of powerful pharmaceuticals and risky surgeries can!

    August 29, 2013 at 14:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Susan

    I've suffered from childhood with migrains. Recently I had an MRI when a horrific migraine drove me to the ER. The images looked like someone dropped 2 Altoids on them, one in each hemisphere. The doc said "you got white matter in your gray matter!"
    I found that eliminating gluten from my diet has drastically minimized their occurance. I recommend giving it a try. I seem to only get migraines when I've had contaminated food.

    August 29, 2013 at 15:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Valentijn

    My migraines were caused by MSG. I avoid them completely by avoiding MSG, and supplementing folate can help if I accidentally get some MSG, even if I take it after symptoms have started.

    August 29, 2013 at 15:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • BAN MSG and all of its forms

      MSG (Monosodium glutamate) or anything autolyzed, hydrolyzed (like hydrolyzed soy protein) causes aura based migraines. Anything autolyzed or hydrolyzed hits the salt in the body and effectively turns into MSG. Truthinlabeling dot org has numerous lists of foods that food manufacturers are dumping the toxic MSG and its derivatives into our food supply. MSG symptoms can take anywhere from minutes to days to show up after the food has been ingested.

      It takes two days after I eat MSG for my aura and migraine to show up.

      You have to look at the base ingredients of foods. Isolates, soy protein concentrates, seasonings like Lawrys are simply MSG in disguise. Meats are soaked in this garbage. Soups are toxic. Salad dressings, chips, its becoming very difficult to find foods without this disgusting excitotoxic neural chemical. The FDA thinks its safe. Many know otherwise. The only way to avoid MSG is to constantly read labels. The simpler the label, the less likely the food will contain MSG. Not every migraine is the result of MSG, but I'm betting most are.

      If you suffer from migraines, do yourself a favor: do not eat anything you do not know the base ingredients to. Buy only organic products and even then still read the labels. Don't eat fast food as many use MSG/autolyzed/hydrolyzed/isolates ingredients. Don't eat cafeteria food. Make your own food. Keep the ingredients to known organic ingredients. Hang in there my fellow migraine sufferers.

      August 30, 2013 at 01:06 | Report abuse |
  17. David Sap

    Simple summary of the same topic: HealthOverEasy

    August 29, 2013 at 16:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Gort1

    sooo, the really misleading headline was just to get us to click on the article...because basically the news is , "dont sweat it, not a real concern..." oh and the obligatory medical news flash " doctors should monitor patients with high blood pressure and high cholestrol":.....wow...what BS

    August 29, 2013 at 17:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Suzanne

    migraine article

    August 29, 2013 at 17:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. EdL

    Holy Toledo! A new 'study' by 'researchers'! Interestingly, they have come up again with the word 'may'. If may, then also may not. Need a follow up 'study' that eliminates the word may. Then they have a hold of something. Meanwhile, I dismiss their study. It is the same as most of the rest of these 'studies': May cure, may prevent, may etc.

    August 29, 2013 at 17:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Htka

    @5-HT3 and sex steroids Are you stupid? An ovariohysterectomy refers to spaying a female pet. Did you mean hysterectomy with Oophorectomy? Been there and done that and still have chronic migraines. So much for your illogical theory.

    August 29, 2013 at 17:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Liz

    I have aura migraines. Once a migraine caused the left-side of my face to droop and I could not speak for about 30 seconds. ER and neurologist confirmed it was migraine. Mine don't hurt but I get extremely fatigued afterward. Does anybody else experience this? I feel alone.

    August 29, 2013 at 18:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • klfr

      I too get atypical migraines with aura. My vision either gets extremely blurry or it is cut up in a million little pieces. I also get an altered sense of smell. I get very dizzy, get a severe stomach ache and have all sorts of neurological symptoms (altered speech, drooling, tingling in hands and feet), however I get very little to no headache pain. I am also very fatigued after the migraine resolves and am usually extremely hungry (even though I rarely ever vomit). I was diagnosed with the migraines while in the military and they never offered medication or anything to help with them. I have yet to see anyone in the civilian world about them, but plan to do so. They are becoming increasingly frequent and more intense symptom wise.

      August 29, 2013 at 19:25 | Report abuse |
  23. Hope I stay better

    Hope I stay better-this is for migraine sufferers: I had severe migraines once or twice a month from age 12 or 13yrs.
    I vomited, saw the auras before hand, etc. This went on twice a month until about 20 yrs. old. The vomiting went away, the
    headache and energy drain stayed, then it lessened. By 45yrs. I only got distorted vision, no headaches. Now, I'm over 60yrs., it comes mostly with caffeine overload-get the distorted vision that last 20 min. and zero pain. i shrug it off and continue doing stuff that vision is not important. it only serves to remind me of the days I thought they'd never get better.
    In the back of my mind I fear the aura will lead to the old days, but after 10 years or more of no escalation, I think I'm fine.
    Life is great.

    August 30, 2013 at 00:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. justme

    I have suffered from migraines for about 10 years now, I have been to about 9 Neurologists... and they just keep passing me off to someone else. I have between 25-29 migraines per month, before I got cancer in 04 I only had 4 or 5 per month..God how I miss those days! I have noticed that my thinking has slowed down and I try to say something but it just does not come out the way I want it to. My Dad suffered from migraines but only for 1 year, then they just disappeared. I am still praying that mine just goes away as quickly as they came on. I have been to a pain doctor and they have offered surgery to where they put a pace maker in my lower back and drill 3 holes in my head and connect it to my brain...it shocks my brain whenever there is pain. I am afraid for them to mess with my brain like that because they said it can have a lot of effects that might not be good PLUS they can not promise me it will work. I pray that everyone that has migraines can become pain free, I know that is what I am praying for!!!

    August 30, 2013 at 01:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Migraine Sufferer

    After seeing a neurologist many many times and taking all of the OTC meds, he urged me to give "Migrelief
    " a try. It's an herbal supplement combining riboflavin, magnesium and feverfew. I buy it at the local health food store, online at their website and even The Vitamin Shoppe has it as well. It is a life saver. Take 2 a day for about 2 weeks before you start to feel the migraines disappear. Then take 1 a day for a few weeks, then I can take 3 to 4 a week and will have absolutely no migraines. Give it a try! I swear by this product and always have a bottle at work, at home and in the car.

    August 30, 2013 at 07:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Less Migraines

    I have suffered from migraines for as long as I can remember. I am a 26 year old, female. There are quite a few people in my family who suffer from migraines as well. At one point last year(2012), I was getting a migraine every single day of the month. I know someone who is big into essential oils. There is an essential oil called "M-grain" which is a mixture of different oils (I'm not sure which ones). The person I know who is into essential oils got a me a bottle of "M-grain" to see if it would help. I had been on plenty of other meds–Imitrex, Gabapentin, etc.–prescribed by my Neurologist. After I started using "M-grain", my migraines have become MUCH less. What you do with the "M-grain" is either take a few big whiffs or you can put on your temples. If I feel even a little headache coming on, I will smell that and the headache will be gone within a few minutes. The reason I wanted to try it is because it's all natural and I'm not putting any chemicals or anything in my body.

    Here is the website where you can order it.


    August 30, 2013 at 14:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. AbbyJ

    I used to suffer from migraines. Before the pain, I'd get to where I couldn't focus on anything, letters in words would transpose, etc. Then when it set in full-force, I'd get so bad I would vomit. Even on the tail-end when they were almost over, I would even have trouble thinking of words or phrases.

    I haven't had a migraine in almost 3 years now. What helped? I changed my diet. I quit drinking soda pop and switched to a "clean eating" approach (about 75% along the paleo/primal guidelines). Very little grain, very little refined sugar, no soy. Meals are mostly a serving of meat/fish/eggs, a bunch vegetables, and fruit for dessert. Dairy in moderation, and always full-fat versions (real butter, full-fat yogurt, whole milk or cream).

    August 30, 2013 at 16:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • AbbyJ

      I forgot to include: I'm a 30 year old female, no health or weight problems. I switched my diet because I wanted to form good habits now and PREVENT health problems, instead of having poor habits and trying to FIX the problems they cause 20 years down the road.

      August 30, 2013 at 16:52 | Report abuse |
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  30. Jim

    I knew it. Every time I get one it feels like something is going horribly wrong in my brain.

    September 4, 2013 at 09:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Reliable Home Tips and Treatments

    Prostaglandins is one of the migraine causes. Ginger blocks Prostaglandins. It also alleviates migraine symptoms such as nausea and headache.
    Migraine Relief – http://reliable-home-tips.com/migraine-relief/

    September 13, 2013 at 03:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. MP

    Some studies have shown that feverfew may help prevent migraines. Its important to always check with your pharmacist about interactions between herbal remedies or dietary supplements and prescription medications. There are databases available online for learning more information or checking out the interactions.

    September 20, 2013 at 11:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. checkthisindia

    A new study finds that migraine sufferers are more likely to get depression. http://bit.ly/19UYJ0C

    October 20, 2013 at 02:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Michael Fernandez

    Reblogged this on Migraine Discussions and commented:
    Interesting article on migraines that I found through Klout at http://klout.com/#/mff181.

    October 31, 2013 at 10:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Tom DeSantis

    What Dr. Roger Cady has to say about Gelstat

    “GelStat Natural Migraine relief is effective as a first line abortive treatment for migraines when initiated early during the mild headache phase.”
    Dr. Roger Cady

    November 21, 2013 at 03:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Tom DeSantis

    Gelstat migraine worked for my wife!
    Without all the nasty side effects!

    November 21, 2013 at 03:35 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.