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Migraine: identify changes in the brain of people who suffer from it

Migraine is a complicated disease. Not only does it cause an unbearable headache, it can also cause dizziness, visual disorders, known as aura, photosensitivity, and even nausea and vomiting. Until now, its cause is unknown and there is no cure.
According to the American Migraine Foundation, an organization that researches this condition, up to 148 million people around the world suffer from it chronically.
Recently, a team of researchers has found changes in the brains of people who suffer from migraines. What they found is that perivascular spaces, fluid-filled spaces found around blood vessels in the brain, are larger in people who have both chronic and episodic migraine.
At the moment its relationship with migraine or its role in it has not been established. The finding could represent an unexplored avenue for future research.
To carry out this study, scientists selected 20 people between 25 and 60 years old who had migraine. Of these 20 people, 10 suffered from chronic migraine and the other 10 from episodic migraine. They also included five healthy patients who did not have migraine as a control group.
The scans showed that the perivascular spaces of people who had migraines were much larger than those of those who did not have the disease.
The researchers also found a difference in the distribution of a type of lesion known as white matter hyperintensities in migraine patients. Hyperintensities are caused by small patches of tissue killed by restricted blood flow, and are quite normal. No differences were observed in the frequency of these lesions between people with migraine and people without it.
Scientists believe that the enlargement of perivascular spaces could lead to the future development of more white matter lesions.
Although the relationship between enlarged perivascular spaces and migraine is unclear, the results suggest that migraine is accompanied by a problem with the brain's plumbing: the glymphatic system, responsible for the removal of waste in the brain and nervous system. This system uses perivascular channels for transport. More work needs to be done to explore this correlation, but its mere identification could be promising.


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