Migraine High-resolution MRI could pinpoint the cause the condition Medical News Today

An MRI brain image of migraine

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High-resolution MRIs might be able uncover the mysteries that surrounds migraine headaches. Design by MNT Photography by Anna Malgina/Stocksy, Urs Siedentop and Co/Stocksy

  • The Migraine headaches can cause extreme discomfort and pain for sufferers.

  • Researchers are still trying to discover how migraine affects the brain, as well as the mechanisms that are involved.

  • Recent research revealed that those who suffer from migraine also have an increased cerebral perivascular spaces.

  • The results suggest the need for further investigation to determine specific changes in the brain and whether or whether migraine can cause these changes.

The symptoms of migraine headaches can be debilitating , and result in a wide range of symptoms for those who suffer.

Researchers are working hard to discover the changes in the brain that could be caused or caused by migraine.

A new study examined specific differences in the brains of migraine sufferers.

Researchers presented the research that hasn’t yet been published within a journal that is peer reviewed during the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annual gathering.

Researchers said that in migraine sufferers there was a distinct increase in areas of the brain’s perivascular space.


is a very complex problem that is often accompanied by extreme headaches.

The headaches can be debilitating and painful. Some people may be afflicted by triggers that cause migraine headaches like smoking, stress or changes in weather.

Doctor. Achillefs Ntranos, a neurologist who was trained by Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and Mount Sinai in New York currently practices with patients in Beverly Hills, California, explained to Medical News Today:

“Migraines are a neurological condition which affects the brain. They can result in a variety of symptoms that can accompany intense headache pain. The symptoms include vomiting, nausea, and the sensitivity to sound, light and smells. There are also those who feel an aura in the days before the headache. It may include visual disturbances, like blinking light or spots of blindness. The frequency of migraines can differ and intensity, with some experiencing them frequently and others experiencing them more than times throughout the week.”

Treatment for migraine can include the use of medicines as well as lifestyle modifications.

But, there’s a lot about migraine-related causes and brain-related changes that scientists do not know.

Researchers are still trying to unravel the fundamental causes of migraine, which includes the changes that they can detect on the brain.

Researchers involved in the current study were looking at particular brain changes in those suffering from migraine.

The study involved 10 participants with chronic migraine, and 10 with periodic migraines without aura. They compared the participants with five people who do not suffer from migraine.

The researchers used a particular kind of MRI for their study to produce highly-detailed scans.

Wilson Xu, a study author currently employed in the department of neuroradiology located at the University of Southern California as part of the Sheikh-Bahaei Laboratory and told MNT:

“Our study utilized ultra-high field 7T MRI to examine the brains of migraine sufferers and compare it to the majority of currently available clinical MRIs currently (which mostly three times or 1.5T) 7T MRI is much more detailed and higher image quality, which allows for better detection of small changes to the brain’s tissue that otherwise would not be apparent in other MRI kinds.”

Researchers examined three major components while looking at images. Xu described each of them to MNT:

  • Perivascular space (or PVS) are small fluid-filled spaces found in the brain near blood vessels. They are believed to form part the Glymphatic (or liquid and waste clearing) system that is found in the brain.

  • Hyperintensities of the white matter (or WMH)

    Are bright spots on the white matter that are visible are bright spots in the white matter seen MRI and are a common occurrence in a variety of neurological disorders. Many believe that they are a sign of long-term Ischemia (or diminished the flow of blood) within the brain, or changes in the small vessels which provide blood to the brain.

  • Cerebral microbleeds (or CMB)

    are little, permanent regions of bleeding within the brain, likely result from abnormal blood vessels and appear as tiny dark spots on some types of MRI.

As researchers examined each of these elements, they discovered that people suffering from migraine had more perivascular space in a specific region of the brain referred to as the centrum semiovale. It is the central white matter area.

The enlarged perivarial spaces were also connected to more severe white matter hyperintensities, particularly among those who suffer from migraine.

“The study revealed a linkage between the size of the perivarial spaces in the semiovale of the centrum and the intensity of white matter hyperintensities within the cerebral cortex,” Ntranos noted. “These results are a step forward in our understanding of the possible structural changes that occur in the brain caused by migraines.”

Xu expressed his excitement by the findings of the study, as it will help researchers get further in understanding fundamental mechanisms behind migraine.

“These findings are thrilling because they indicate a type of malfunction in the system for clearing out waste in the brain during migraine. research has shown that many neurological conditions are linked to the increase of PVS. The reason for these changes is unclear. to occur OR result from migraine remains unclear and so is the precise nature of migraine’s mechanism.”

The study provides only the bare minimum of information and suggests the need for further investigation.

In other words, looking at the differences in brain function does not suggest that migraine causes these changes , or the reverse. The study was also limited to the participants in a very small sample and more extensive studies will be required to verify the findings.

Xu has identified the following areas of study:

“Our objective is to continue with ultra-highfield 7T MRI for further studies, this time using greater numbers of patients, longer follow-up intervals and a wider range of migraine kinds for confirmation of our research findings. we believe that through further studies, we’ll be able to determine what exactly the connection exists between migraine and these variations.”

He also explained that further research of this subject will increase the chances of success for people who suffer from migraine:

“Hopefully that as we discover more about migraine, and know more about the pathophysiology behind it that we will be able to utilize these biomarkers to identify migraines and select the best medications to manage and prevent migraine for those suffering from migraine.”