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Can Migraines Cause Brain Damage

How Do These Brain Lesions Affect Your Health

GERD, migraines, fainting, brain fog, and other gradually increasing symptoms in an EDS case

If you have migraines, do you need to get regular brain scans? Experts say no. The odds that thereâs a problem is less than 1 in 1,000.

Brain lesions donât appear to cause any long-term damage. Two large studies found people with migraines didnât have any more changes to their brain function or thinking than those who donât get the headaches.

One study concluded these lesions donât affect your brain health. The scientists used scans to track lesions over 9 years. They found those who had more brain lesions scored no differently on memory, attention, or speed tests.

What Causes Damage To The Occipital Lobe

As is the case with other traumatic brain injuries, damage to the occipital lobe most often occurs as a result of vehicle crashes, falls, and firearms. Taking steps to prevent these injuries could save you or a loved one a lifetime of the added stress and depression that accompanies traumatic brain injuries.

What Is A Traumatic Brain Injury

Don’t let the name fool you – not all causes of traumatic brain injuries are dramatic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control , a traumatic brain injury is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain

Causes of TBI include falls , sports-related injuries , assaults, blast and combat injuries in military personnel, and motor vehicle accidents

The severity of the injury may range from mild to severe. Most TBIs that occur each year are mild. Mild TBI is also called a concussion.

You don’t have to actually hit your head or have a blow to the head to have a concussion:

“Any type of rapid acceleration or deceleration injury can result in a whiplash injury to the neck. That can result in the brainwhich floats inside the spinal fluidhitting the front and back of the hard skull, resulting in a traumatic injury,” said Dr. Amaal Starling, an specialist in headache and concussion at the Mayo Clinic

With a mild TBI, you may experience a change in mental status or consciousness, difficulty thinking, balance issues, head pain, mood issues, and difficulty sleeping. You do not have to lose consciousness to have a concussion. Less than 10% of people who have had a concussion actually lose consciousness

Severe TBI is a different story: someone with a severe TBI may experience an extended period of unconsciousness , memory loss, and significant changes in thinking and behavior.

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Headaches And Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care

Headaches have repeatedly been linked to a misalignment in the bones of the upper cervical spine. In particular, the C1 and C2 are more susceptible to misaligning than the other bones of the spine due to their location and their ability to allow the head to move in so many directions. These bones protect the delicate brainstem from damage. However, when they misalign, they put the brainstem under pressure or stress and cause it to send improper signals to the brain. This may lead to some of the issues involved with migraine headaches. Another problem that may come about is that oxygen-rich blood flow and cerebrospinal fluid flow are restricted from reaching the brain. If the brain is working overtime to get the extra flow of oxygen and the misaligned bones of the neck are obstructing it, headaches and brain tissue damage may follow.

Upper cervical chiropractors are specially trained to detect these tiny misalignments. We then employ a gentle method that helps the bones to move back into place more naturally than forcing them by cracking or popping the spine. Our method does not use force and leads to longer-lasting results. Our patients, as well as those in case studies, have seen their headaches and migraines improve greatly or go away completely after only a few visits.

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Phase : Before The Headache


Up to two days before a migraine headache kicks in, you may have symptoms during what is called the prodrome phase. You might find yourself experiencing emotional changes or having trouble concentrating. An estimated 40% of people who have migraines, who are called migraineurs, may experience these kinds of changes leading up to a headache.

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What Value Do You Assign To Studies Such As This One On The Link Between Brain Damage And Migraines

Do you rely on research studies to understand what may or may not happen to you in the future? After all, it seems that a new study comes around more often than not with information that appears to contradict prior studies. I cannot remember how many of these types of pieces I have read on the benefits versus risks from drinking coffee. One day, the study says that drinking coffee is good for you. The next study that comes along claims that coffee can be bad for you. Which one should you believe? It depends, right? This is not to say that research studies, such as this one, do not contain value. On the contrary, I have found many of these types of pieces to be extremely valuable in terms of understanding the links between, for example, high amounts of biogenic amines, such as tyramine and histamine, and migraines.

Fact: Most of us are not statisticians or researchers. Many of us could care less about the finer points behind the numbers in the study. But, at the same time, if we dont dig in to these numbers, it might not be possible to understand whether it is relevant to us or not. It is helpful for us to make a connection to the data, but that takes both time and effort. At the very least, a post such as this one should be written in a way that encourages you to follow up and learn more, to the extent that the topic is interesting.

Case in point. The current study on the link between migraines and brain damage builds on earlier work, but also goes further.

Posterior Circulation Territory Infarcts

Based on our finding of an increased prevalence of posterior circulation infarct-like lesions in migraineurs, we further focused on these lesions. Of all 60 identified subclinical brain infarcts, 39 were in the posterior circulation territory, and a majority of these were located in the cerebellum. Lesions were often multiple, and round or oval shaped, with a mean diameter of 7 mm. The majority of infratentorial infarct-like lesions had a vascular border zone location in the cerebellum. Prevalence of these border zone lesions differed between controls , cases with migraine without aura and cases with migraine with aura . Besides higher age, cardiovascular risk factors were not more prevalent in migraineurs with posterior circulation infarct-like lesions compared to those without lesions. The combination of vascular distribution, deep border zone location, shape, size and imaging characteristics on MRI makes it likely that the lesions have an ischaemic origin.

No previous study specifically reported on cerebellar lesions in migraine. But interestingly, subclinical cerebellar dysfunction has been reported in migraineurs, which raises the question whether more advanced functional tests would have identified cerebellar dysfunction in our cases.

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Dangers Of Low Oxygen Levels

When migraines cause oxygen shortages in your brain, your body will try to fix the problem. The brains arteries enlarge, in hopes of allowing oxygen-rich blood to enter your brain. However, even with the arteries expanding, brain damage can still occur.

Lacking oxygen, the brains cells structures will begin to fall apart. The effects are similar to what happens to someone when they have a stroke or heart attack.

Memory Loss Cause #12 Aging

Dr. Peter Goadsby on Migraine and Brain Lesions

Most older people have some memory troubles, Legendre claims. Typical lapse of memory can include neglecting your new neighbors name or taking much longer to find out a new computer software. Memorization obtains tougher as well as its common to neglect small things like where you put your car keys. Some older individuals have worse amnesia, known as light cognitive impairment, Legendre states. They may have problem remembering current conversations or forget visits. They can generally keep in mind occasions that occurred farther in the past and also go about life typically.

There are means to aid protect against lapse of memory as you age. A research from McMaster University found that workout, specifically at a high strength, might increase memory in older grownups. Another study published in the Lancet in 2019 found exercise can lower your threat of dementia.

You can additionally alter your routine to keep your mind sharp. One of our memorys most dangerous opponents is a lack of stimulation. Shaking up your regimen is a winning approach, Legendre says. Read publications, write or discover new things to stimulate your brain.MemoryLoss.

Can Severe Migraines Cause Memory Loss Can be a difficult question to answer. Following this guideline should generally improve your memory loss however if it doesnt you may want to look into for more causes that are particular to your situation.

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What Are The Four Stages Or Phases Of A Migraine Whats The Timeline

The four stages in chronological order are the prodrome , aura, headache and postdrome. About 30% of people experience symptoms before their headache starts.

The phases are:

  • Prodrome: The first stage lasts a few hours, or it can last days. You may or may not experience it as it may not happen every time. Some know it as the preheadache or premonitory phase.
  • Aura: The aura phase can last as long as 60 minutes or as little as five. Most people dont experience an aura, and some have both the aura and the headache at the same time.
  • Headache: About four hours to 72 hours is how long the headache lasts. The word ache doesnt do the pain justice because sometimes its mild, but usually, its described as drilling, throbbing or you may feel the sensation of an icepick in your head. Typically it starts on one side of your head and then spreads to the other side.
  • Postdrome: The postdrome stage goes on for a day or two. Its often called a migraine hangover and 80% of those who have migraines experience it.
  • It can take about eight to 72 hours to go through the four stages.

    Whats A Migraine What Does A Migraine Feel Like

    A migraine is a common neurological disease that causes a variety of symptoms, most notably a throbbing, pulsing headache on one side of your head. Your migraine will likely get worse with physical activity, lights, sounds or smells. It may last at least four hours or even days. About 12% of Americans have this genetic disorder. Research shows that its the sixth most disabling disease in the world.

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    Studies Of Volumetric Changes

    We identified 9 clinic-based studies that used VBM and DTI to assess GM and WM regions in migraineurs and controls ., Seven studies reported reduced GM density in brain regions in migraineurs compared to controls., In addition, one study found increased GM density in the periaqueductal gray and the dorsolateral pons, but only in patients with MA. In 5 studies, attack frequency and disease duration,,, were correlated with GM reduction in migraineurs in the frontal,,, temporal,, and parietal lobes, the limbic system, the cingulate cortex,,, the brainstem,, and the cerebellum., One study reported that patients with chronic migraine had a volume loss mainly in the anterior cingulate cortex and in several other areas, compared to patients with episodic migraine , indicating an association between attack frequency and GM reduction, especially in the ACC.

    Headaches: Do They Really Cause Brain Tissue Damage

    Yes, Migraines Can Cause Brain Damage

    Many people who experience chronic headaches and migraines feel like there is no real solution to their problem. So, why not just learn to live with it? The following information may give you a very good reason to try to resolve this situation. Also, to get an easy way to do just that.

    Chronic headaches are those occurring more than 15 days in a months time. As many as 5 percent of the global population experience these headaches. Chronic headaches include medication overuse headaches and migraines. For the sake of this article, we are just going to refer to them as headaches.

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    Positive Effects On The Brain

    Hormones that are released:

  • Dopamine: Also known as the happiness hormone, dopamine is involved in reward-seeking and motivation. The release of dopamine can provide clarity and improve focus.
  • Oxytocin: The love hormone, oxytocin promotes social and sexual behaviours linked with happiness. Oxytocin supports overall well-being and growth.
  • Serotonin: Serotonin is a chemical messenger that manages happiness and satisfaction. An increase in serotonin can improve your mood.
  • Endorphins: These feel good chemicals help reduce pain and can make a person feel relaxed.
  • The Relation Between Neck Pain And Brain Fog:

    Cervical spine instability disturbs the blood flow to the brain and ultimately affects the nervous system while communicating. You feel the heavy head and fail to concentrate on the things. Dizziness is a common symptom of brain fog.

    Causes of brain fog concerning neck pain are the following:

    • Muscle strain: if you suffer an injury that causes stress in the neck muscles that will resultantly cause brain fog along with a heavy head. Sometimes while lifting something heavy, there might happen misalignment in your spines that will cause you dizziness and brain fog.
    • Whiplash: it is a condition the disrupts the range of motion of your neck and you feel pain while moving your neck. The whiplash causes stiffness in the neck and thus makes you feel foggy and dizzy.

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    Migraines Can Change Brain Structure

    Our brains are capable of making changes, depending on our experiences. For instance, if you practice an instrument, you can create pathways in your brain that make playing easier.

    However, not every change your brain makes is a positive one. Your brain also responds to negative experiences, such as pain.

    When you have chronic migraines, your brain practices being in pain. Moving forward, your brain will begin making changes to make pain happen more frequently. Finally, your brain will become a pro at simulating some of the most excruciating pain, even when you dont have a migraine.

    The Discovery Of Brain Damage Due To Headaches

    Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms

    Nedergaards team was able to get an in-depth look at the events happening in the brain of a mouse having a migraine because of combining two new types of imaging technology. What they discovered was a detailed and surprising account of supply and demand in regards to oxygen and blood flow. They saw the brain developing a strong demand for energy as it tries to recover from cortical spreading depression a very likely component of many migraine headaches. During the beginning of this phenomenon, the brain loses chemical balance. At this point, the brains arteries begin to expand greatly and make a lot more oxygen-rich blood available to meet the demand for energy. Even so, some areas of the brain have serious oxygen shortage. This leads to the disintegration of some of the brains tissue, not unlike what happens when you have a stroke.

    Those involved in the study relate that this type of damage looks exactly like what happens when one has TIAs . It has long been known that migraine patients become impaired due to the pain. However, these recent studies show repetitive headaches alter a persons cognitive ability.

    Deborah Friedman, MD, is a neurologist who was not part of the above study. She reports there have been a few studies showing people who have auras before a migraine are at increased risk for heart attack, stroke, and other vascular issues.

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    Is Your Migraine Causing You To Have Memory Loss

    Posted on:

    Migraine headaches account for more difficulties in doing physical and mental activities than any other neurological condition. A lot of people feel that the severe headaches mean something dangerous is happening inside their brain. For example, is your migraine caus-ing you to have memory loss?

    Although they can cause your head to hurt like crazy, 95% of all migraines are harmless. They may be accompanied by flashing lights and dizziness, which are caused by a tempo-rary change in the electrical activity of the brain that lead to head pain and sensitivity to light & loud noises.

    Complex migraines, also known as migraines with aura, affect about 30% of people who have migraine. The aura represents reversible neurological symptoms that usually evolve over the course of 5 minutes and almost always disappear within the course of an hour and is usually followed or accompanied by a severe migraine headache.

    The aura symptoms include:

    • Visual sparks or flashes of light in the eyes,
    • Zigzag lines or prism like visual illusions
    • Blind spots in the vision
    • Tingling or numbness of the face, hand, or one side of the body,
    • Difficulty with expressive language where the individual has difficulty forming words or articulating what they want to say

    Migraines With Aura In Middle Age Associated With Late

    Women who suffer from migraine headaches in middle age accompanied by neurological aura are more likely to have damage to brain tissue in the cerebellum later in life.

    Women who suffer from migraine headaches in middle age accompanied by neurological aura are more likely to have damage to brain tissue in the cerebellum later in life, according to a study by researchers at the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and the Icelandic Heart Association in Reykjavik. Researchers noted that many people have these types of “silent” brain lesions, but their effect on physical and cognitive function in older people is not well studied.

    The study appears in the June 24, 2009, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The researchers found that women are more susceptible than men to localized brain tissue damage identified on magnetic resonance images and that women who reported having migraines with aura were almost twice as likely to have such damage in the cerebellum as women who reported not having headaches.

    Researchers noted that while the study shows an association in women between migraine and cerebellar tissue damage later in life, the functional significance of such brain changes remains an open question. The cerebellum is located in the lower back side of the brain and is involved in functions such as motor activity, balance and cognition.

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