Can Migraines Cause Permanent Damage?

It’s no secret: migraine headache hurt. And it’s not just a little discomfort. If you deal with them on a regular basis, you’ve probably wondered if they might affect you long-term. Could your migraine be changing your brain?

The short answer is yes. Chronic migraine make a difference in how your brain looks and acts over time. But with the right treatment, you may be able to tame and even reverse the changes in your brain brought on by migraine attacks.

Your Brain on Migraine Pain

Let’s get the big worry out of the way: Do migraine headaches kill brain cells? “For the vast majority of migraines, and the vast majority of people with migraine, no,” says K.C. Brennan, MD, a headache researcher at the University of Utah.

In certain cases, a migraine may come with a complication that doctors call migrainous infarction, which can lead to a stroke In this case, brain cells die because the stroke cuts off their blood supply. This is very serious but also very rare. “You’re more likely to be struck by lightning,” Brennan says.

Sometimes after the worst pain of a migraine is over, you might feel like your brain is “off.” You may have trouble doing things you normally do for a few hours, or sometimes for as long as a couple of days. You might hear this called a “migraine hangover” or the “postdrome phase” of a migraine. It can cause:

  • fatigue
  • Problems remembering things
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Stiff neck
  • Mood changes

But these symptoms are temporary.

How Migraines Shape Your Brain

Your brain is an organ that has “plasticity.” That means it changes and forms new pathways. It’s how you survive, grow, adapt, and work

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *