Washington: Migraines only cause unbearable headaches and are not related to cognitive decline, a new study on women's health has found.
    
According to a new research by Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), migraines, which affect about 20 per cent of the female population, are not associated with cognitive decline.
    
"Previous studies on migraines and cognitive decline were small and unable to identify a link between the two. Our study was large enough to draw the conclusion that migraines, while painful, are not strongly linked to cognitive decline," lead author of the study Pamela Rist said.
    
The research team analysed data from the Women's Health Study, a cohort of nearly 40,000 women, 45 years and older. In this study, researchers analysed data from 6,349 women who provided information about migraine status at baseline and then participated in cognitive testing during follow-up.
    
Participants were classified into four groups: no history of migraine, migraine with aura (transient neurology symptoms mostly of the visual field), migraine without aura, and past history of migraine. Cognitive testing was carried out in two year intervals up to three times.
    
"Compared with women with no history of migraine, those who experienced migraine with or without aura did not have significantly different rates of cognitive decline," Rist said.
    
Previous studies have linked this disorder to an increased risk of stroke and structural brain lesions, but it has remained unclear whether migraines had other negative consequences such as dementia or cognitive decline.
    
"This is an important finding for both physicians and patients. Patients with migraine and their treating doctors should be reassured that migraine may not have long term consequences on cognitive function," Rist added.
    
The findings have been published in the British Medical Journal.

(Agencies)

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