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Migraine does not cause a stroke, but there may be a link between the two!

Migraine does not cause a stroke. However, there may be a link between the twoDuring a migraine attack sometimes a stroke can occur. The risk of stroke can be increased by migraines with aura, particularly in females. Both the symptoms of migraine and stroke can overlap. A migrainous stroke is a stroke that happens during a migraine attack.

Migraine with aura can also appear similar to a TIA (transient ischemic attack).  Blood flow to the brain is stopped by temporary blockage in TIA and causes stroke-like symptoms. Symptoms of migraine with aura usually last 60 minutes or less, visual disturbances, and tingling on one side of the body that can last 5 minutes or longer. Symptoms of stroke or TIA includes loss of vision in both eyes or one eye, numbness or weakness in the body (usually one side), confusion, difficulty in walking, dizziness, severe headache.

Some types of migraine can cause stroke like symptoms like hemiplegic migraine. The symptoms of this come gradually, but for stroke, it is sudden. American Migraine Foundation says, migraine with aura increases the risk of stroke, and this is because blood vessels are narrowed temporarily. This leads to the formation of blood clots which causes strokes. Females are at higher risk of stroke among people who experience migraines with aura.

Around 25-30% of people with migraines experience aura. It is a set of sensation that happens just before migraine attack. It last for 20-60 minutes. The symptoms include being unable to speak clearly, seeing bright spots, sparks, tingling sensation on one side of the body. With every migraine attack, people may not have an aura. Males are three times less likely to have migraines than females.

The risks of a stroke may increase in people who have an active migraine and a high frequency of migraine attacks, are older adults who smoke experience migraine onset later in life. At present, there is no clear evidence that the severity of a migraine attack relates to the risk of an ischemic stroke. Migraine increases the risk of diseases that affect the brain and blood vessels, experts suggest, and stroke is one of them. 

More insight migraine and stroke –

Symptoms of stroke come suddenly, but migraine with aura comes slowly. Symptoms of both can overlap, but migraine symptoms usually add sensations, while stroke takes them away. To diagnose migraine number of tests to check vision, reflexes, sensation, and coordination care are carried out. Doctors will also ask people to record any symptoms they experience, frequency of the attack and lifestyle factors. Any medication people are taking will also be used during the treatment. Several tests are carried out to diagnose a stroke, like MRI or CT scans, electrical impulse tests, and blood flow tests. 

For preventing stroke for people with migraines, there are no clear guidelines. People can reduce stroke risks through lifestyle changes like controlling high cholesterol and blood pressure, quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight. People who have migraines with aura should get regular check-ups done to prevent stroke. 

 

 

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