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Migraine sufferers at higher risk of stroke


Stroke risk

(NaturalNews) Older people who suffer from migraine headaches could be more likely to suffer a silent brain injury, according to recent research that has been published in the American Heart Association's journal, Stroke.

In the new study, people who have a history of migraines were at double the risk of ischemic silent brain infarction compared to people who did not suffer from migraines. Silent brain infarction is a brain injury that is caused most often by a blood clot interrupting blood flow to tissues of the brain.

Sometimes called "silent strokes," such injuries are not associated with any visible symptoms. But they are nonetheless a risk factor for future strokes, Medical Xpress reported.

In previous studies, researchers discovered that migraines could be an important factor in raising stroke risks for younger people as well.

'Those with migraine and vascular risk factors may want to pay even greater attention to lifestyle changes'

"I do not believe migraine sufferers should worry, as the risk of ischemic stroke in people with migraine is considered small," said Teshamae Monteith, M.D., lead author of the study and assistant professor of clinical neurology and chief of the Headache Division at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

"However, those with migraine and vascular risk factors may want to pay even greater attention to lifestyle changes that can reduce stroke risk, such as exercising and eating a low-fat diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables," Monteith added.

It has been well-established that chronic high blood pressure also raises the risk of stroke, and that is more common in people who experience regular migraine headaches. But the association between migraines and silent brain infarction was also found in study participants who had normal blood pressure.

Chronic heart arrhythmias like atrial flutter and atrial fibrillation can also contribute to stroke.

As noted by Medical Xpress:

Because Hispanics and African-Americans are at increased stroke risk, researchers from the Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS) -- a collaborative investigation between the University of Miami and Columbia University -- studied a multi-ethnic group of older adults (41 percent men, average age 71) in New York City.

Some 65 percent of participants were Hispanic. Researchers compared the magnetic resonance imaging results of 104 people who had histories of migraine headache to those of 442 who did not have them.

The results:

-- A doubling of silent brain infarctions in those with migraine even after adjusting for other stroke risk factors;

-- No increase in the volume of white-matter hyperintensities (small blood vessel abnormalities) that have been associated with migraine in other studies;

-- Migraines with aura -- changes in vision or other senses preceding the headache -- wasn't common in participants and wasn't necessary for the association with silent cerebral infarctions.

"While the lesions appeared to be ischemic, based on their radiographic description, further research is needed to confirm our findings," Monteith said.

For one thing, avoid triggers

The new data raises questions about whether preventive treatment to reduce the number, and severity, of migraines would be beneficial in summarily reducing the risk of stroke or silent cerebral infarction.

"We still don't know if treatment for migraines will have an impact on stroke risk reduction, but it may be a good idea to seek treatment from a migraine specialist if your headaches are out of control," Monteith said.

More than 37 million Americans suffer from migraines. The good news is that there are a number of natural ways you can reduce the occurrence of them if you are one of those who suffers.

For one, you should avoid a variety of migraine triggers. According to Natural News' Willow Tohi, these include:

- Fluorescent lights
- Coffee
- Dehydration
- Smoking or alcohol abuse
- High blood pressure or hypoglycemia
- Vitamin B or D deficiency or mineral imbalances
- Reaction to food additives such as MSG, sugar, colorings or preservatives
- Oral contraceptives or prescription medication
- Food allergies or intolerances

Herbs can help, as well, like feverfew and butterbur extract. You should also consider hydrotherapy, which experts have said can help. One treatment: first, stand in a shower with water that is as hot as you can stand for two minutes, then reverse it and use water as cold as you can stand for two minutes, and repeat. Hot water sends blood to the peripheries, and cold water shunts it to the core.

Here are more tips: NaturalNews.com.

Sources:

http://medicalxpress.com

http://www.naturalnews.com

http://migraine.com

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