As if migraines aren’t bad enough, new research shows that they can cause damage to the brain.
Experts have discovered that migraines raise the risk of ‘white matter’ brain lesions and altered brain volume compared to people without the disorder.
Those who suffer a warning before a migraine begins – otherwise known as an aura – were found to have a stronger association.
Dr Messoud Ashina, one of the study’s authors from the University of Copenhagen, told the Telegraph: “Traditionally, migraine has been considered a benign disorder without long-term consequences for the brain.
“Our review and meta-analysis study suggests that the disorder may permanently alter brain structure in multiple ways.”
Ten to 15% of the population are affected by migraines.
The results of the study revealed that the risk for brain abnormalities increased by 44% for those with migraine aura compared to those without it.
Dr Ashina hopes the study will provide some insight into what lasting effects regular migraines have on the brain.
He said: 'Migraine affects about 10 to 15 percent of the general population and can cause a substantial personal, occupational and social burden.
'We hope that through more study, we can clarify the association of brain structure changes to attack frequency and length of the disease.
'We also want to find out how these lesions may influence brain function.'