Understanding migraines with aura

It is estimated, in a recent study done by the Dana Foundation, which about 25 percent of the people who routinely suffer from migraines also suffer from the variety that features what is known as aura. Aura can present itself in a number of ways, but it mainly does so as zig-zagging lines and errant flashing lights. The aura itself is also unpredictable, as it can show up prior to an episode or after the migraine has already subsided. There is research in the past that seems to indicate that one of the reasons for aura migraines showing up is because of a blood vessel blocking the passage of blood to the brain, which is a byproduct of an ischemic stroke.

A study on migraines

Looking to find a possible link between migraines with aura and a probable increase in the likelihood of developing cardiovascular diseases, researchers sought to find an answer by conducting a study involving over 27,000 women aged 45 and older. Various kinds of important information were gathered from the participants of the study, such as their lipid information, in order to determine how those may similarly play a role in the development of a cardiovascular disease to go along with their history of migraines. Once the information was collected, the women were then followed to determine how many of them would go on to develop some form of cardiovascular disease, and how many of them would not do so. At the conclusion of the study, it was determined that migraines with aura do manifest greatly in people who would later go on to develop cardiovascular problems. It was behind only high blood pressure in terms of factors that would eventually translate to the development of these diseases. Surprisingly, migraines with aura even came ahead of such notorious factors such as smoking, obesity, and even family history. Though a majority of those who did present with migraines with aura did go on to develop these diseases, it was not a universal reality for the women involved with the study.

Why a link exists

Even at the conclusion of the study, researchers are still baffled as to why migraines with aura are closely related to the development of cardiovascular problems. Various factors have been mentioned such as genes and other bodily functions, but the evidence is tenuous at best. However, other studies have seemed to indicate that migraines with auras should be thought more as symptoms that could possibly lead to the development of cardiovascular diseases instead of byproduct of them. The idea is that since these migraines are already caused by problems with the blood vessels, they may just be indicators of a problem that already exists within the body instead of something that may emerge over time.