In a new study, researchers found that migraine headaches are linked to dementia.
The research was conducted by a team from Germany and France.
The team examined the link between migraine diagnoses and dementia in patients in the United Kingdom.
They used data from the Disease Analyzer database (IQVIA), which involved 3,727 individuals with and 3,727 individuals without a migraine diagnosis.
The patients had received a migraine diagnosis in one of 67 general practices in the UK between January 1997 and December 2016.
They aged between 60 and 80 years and had no diagnosis of dementia or mild cognitive impairment prior to the study.
The team found a positive association between migraine diagnoses and all-cause dementia and Alzheimer’s disease only in women, not in men.
They say several biological and clinical hypotheses may explain the association between migraine headaches and dementia.
For example, migraine headaches involve chronic pain, which has been found to substantially impact the risk of memory decline and dementia.
As women usually have more severe migraine attacks, the risk of dementia in women with migraine could be higher than in men with migraine.
The team says further studies need to gain a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of the migraine-dementia link.
Although the prevalence of migraine headaches is the highest in young adults and tends to decrease with age, this study only included participants aged between 60 and 80 years, thus potentially introducing a bias into the statistical analyses.
Furthermore, headaches related to an underlying ischemic cerebral lesion are frequently misdiagnosed as migraine headaches in the elderly, which may have affected the results of the present study.
One author of the study is Dr. Louis Jacob, Ph.D., from the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines.
The study is published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Copyright © 2019 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.