About Migraine Headaches and Cognitive Decline
Migraines are quite common, especially in women. These horrible headaches can be caused by so many things from imbalances in diet, to stress, sleep patterns, intense over exertion and even from hormones dropping in the body. Sometimes these types of headaches can cause other problems that make everyday living almost unbearable, such as blurred vision, dizziness, touch sensitivities, verbal disturbances, muscle weakness, auras and unbearable head pain. New research about migraine headaches has been done that may link it to cognitive abilities declining.
There was a study performed by a research fellow in the Division of Preventative Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital where lead author Pamela Rist and colleagues studied information collected from the Women’s Health Study, a sample of nearly 40,000 women, age 45 and older. The goal was to determine a correlation between the effects of migraines on the cognitive ability of chronic migraine sufferers. The findings and further hypothesis are as follows.
The researchers combed through this information from 6,349 women. These subjects were partaking in testing as the baseline and then participated in cognitive testing during a follow up. These tests were performed every two years, a maximum of three times per year. The tests must be controlled and they must have been given in the same type of environment so that other factors other than the persistence of migraines over a period of time would not factor into the results.
“Compared with women with no history of migraine, those who experienced migraine with or without aura did not have significantly different rates of cognitive decline, “Rist noted in her statements. “This is an important finding for both physicians and patients. Patients with migraines and their treating doctors should be reassured that migraine may not have long-term consequences on cognitive function.” This study by Rist and colleagues was published in the British Medical Journal.
What Brings About Migraine Headaches?
Migraines are a field in medicine that is still widely unknown and not fully researched, however. This information does indeed provide positive light onto the hypothesis that migraines do not contribute to cognitive decline though. If anything is known about migraines at this point it is that there needs to be much more extensive research done on them in the future to get much more solid and factual findings.
Given the large definition of migraines and the unclear nature of the causes, treatments, and effects, it simply is not adequate to make any clear judgments from the information present in our present day. Cognitive neuroscience is a field that has been growing exponentially in recent years and with each breakthrough a chance for more light onto migraines is brought up. Ideally more and more subjects will come out for the benefit of other migraine sufferers. Diagnostic testing with mental ability is incredibly hard to track and be sure of given all of the factors such as sex, age, other life experiences etc.
About Migraine Headaches and Stress
To learn about migraine headaches, let us delve into how your body perceives stress. Your body uses a system called the NeuroEndoMetabolic Stress ResponseSM in order to handle stress. This stress response primarily uses the neuroendocrine system to help manage stress in the body, especially from the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) hormonal axis. When the brain receives a stress signal, like a migraine coming on, it is then converted into chemical messengers like neurotransmitters and hormones in order to help send a message to the effective area of the body in order to fix the stress. The brain is considered the control center for the neuroendocrine system. Since memory is an important part of this system, it is affected when you have chronic migraines over a long period of time. This can cause brain fog, some memory loss, disorientation and even confusion. There are so many factors that go into what causes migraines and the stress it puts onto our bodies. Some of these factors are environmental, such as pollution, to diet and even allergies and food intolerances. It’s a good idea to start looking into what may be causing your migraines so that you can begin to eliminate triggers that may be having a harmful effect on you. Over time migraines may put stress on your adrenal glands which could lead to Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome. Brain fog and mild memory loss are just a couple of symptoms that goes hand in hand with AFS. If you suffer from migraines seek help from a specialist to help alleviate them.