May it be a glimmer of hope in the shadow of migraine: improving memory.
U.S. researchers found that women with a history of migraines experience less cognitive decline with age than those who do not have the debilitating headaches.
Dr. Amanda Kalaydjian of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore and colleagues examined the relationship between migraine and cognitive functions of women in 1448. Of these, 204 experienced regular headaches.
They compared scores on immediate and delayed recall tests and on the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). They conducted tests between 1993 and 1996 and again in 2004 and 2005.
According to the team in this issue of Neurology, people who suffer from migraines than score tests immediate and delayed memory at baseline. But their performance declined significantly less over time compared to non-migraineurs.
Migraine had a 26 per cent and 47 per cent lower word decline on the immediate and delayed recall tests, respectively.
Women over 50 who had migraine showed the least cognitive decline, the researchers noted.
Migraine is a particularly severe form of headache that can last hours or days. They often occur on one side of the head and may cause visual disturbances ( "aura"), sensitivity to light, nausea and vomiting.
The cause of migraines remains a mystery, but many patients to avoid certain foods, such as red wine, and to ensure adequate sleep to minimize headaches.
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