Do Migraines Damage Your Brain?

Do migraines kill brain cells?

A.

As far as we know, migraine does not kill brain cells like drugs and alcohol do.

But you are not alone in having concerns about memory loss.

The feeling of not being able to think straight, or remember as well as before, is one of the more debilitating aspects of frequent migraine..

Can migraines cause mental problems?

Researchers have suggested that a common predisposition to anxiety disorders, depression, and migraines may exist. Migraines and chronic daily headaches are common in people who suffer from anxiety disorders. Migraine headaches can precede the onset of mental disorders, according to a 2009 study.

Why do migraines hurt so bad?

One aspect of migraine pain theory explains that migraine pain happens due to waves of activity by groups of excitable brain cells. These trigger chemicals, such as serotonin, to narrow blood vessels. Serotonin is a chemical necessary for communication between nerve cells.

What happens if migraine is not treated?

If left untreated, the headache will become moderate to severe. The pain can shift from one side of the head to the other, or it can affect the front of the head or feel like it’s affecting the whole head. Most migraines last about 4 hours, although severe ones can last much longer and even become daily.

Does the brain swell during a migraine?

Migraine pain occurs when excited brain cells trigger the trigeminal nerve, one of five nerves located in the brain, to release chemicals that irritate and cause blood vessels on the surface of the brain to swell, according to the National Headache Foundation.

Are migraines like small strokes?

It is possible for a headache that feels like a migraine to occur during a stroke. A migraine aura may resemble a transient ischemic attack (TIA), also called a “mini-stroke” (a temporary stroke that resolves symptoms quickly without residual or long-term disability).

Can you prove migraines?

There’s no specific test to diagnose migraines. For an accurate diagnosis to be made, a GP must identify a pattern of recurring headaches along with the associated symptoms. Migraines can be unpredictable, sometimes occurring without the other symptoms. Obtaining an accurate diagnosis can sometimes take time.

What is the best treatment for chronic migraines?

TreatmentAntidepressants. Tricyclic antidepressants — such as nortriptyline (Pamelor) — can be used to treat chronic headaches. … Beta blockers. These drugs, commonly used to treat high blood pressure, are also a mainstay for preventing episodic migraines. … Anti-seizure medications. … NSAIDs. … Botulinum toxin.

Do Migraines affect memory?

Although most people with sporadic hemiplegic migraine recover completely between episodes, neurological symptoms such as memory loss and problems with attention can last for weeks or months.

What does a migraine do to your brain?

But during a migraine, these stimuli feel like an all-out assault. The result: The brain produces an outsize reaction to the trigger, its electrical system (mis)firing on all cylinders. This electrical activity causes a change in blood flow to the brain, which in turn affects the brain’s nerves, causing pain.

Do Migraines show up on MRI?

An MRI can’t diagnose migraines, cluster, or tension headaches, but it can help doctors rule out other medical conditions that may cause your symptoms, such as: A brain tumor. An infection in your brain, called an abscess. The buildup of fluid in the brain, called hydrocephalus.

Can migraines cause suicidal thoughts?

Migraine can lead to death. This happens occasionally due to stroke, however, more often through suicide. Those who have migraine and comorbid mental illnesses are three times more likely to attempt suicide. That risk is even higher for migraine with aura, even without any mental health conditions.

Can migraines make you feel depressed?

People with chronic migraine often experience depression or anxiety disorders. It’s not uncommon for people with chronic migraine to struggle with lost productivity. They may also experience poor quality of life. Some of this is due to mood disorders like depression, which may accompany migraines.

Do migraines shorten lifespan?

Migraine is an inherited episodic brain disease. It’s a serious problem that doesn’t shorten life, but ruins it. It affects our most productive people in their great middle years.