Permanent damage

Hi everyone

Well I went to my neurologist the other day and he reckons that my migraine has caused permanent albeit minor central nervous system damage.

Initially he didn’t know whether the damage was peripheral or central - now he seems to think it’s central.

Can anyone explain to me why we feel dizzy all the time as a result of migraine - without any pain - how does it cause permanent damage? Has anyone else been told the damage they have is central?

Thanks
Cat

I didn’t know it could cause permanent damage :shock:
I’d say to him what is the basis of his claim!?

Heather

Catlee,

I was just talking to somebody else about how people who seize have damage to the brain with each seizure. When I was real sick, I was feeling as if my being ill was making me more ill, day by day. It felt like it was feeding on itself.

I’ve never heard this before, but I don’t find it hard to believe at all. I would love to find some documentation.

As far as your question goes about why we feel dizzy all the time because of migraine, a great place to start to is buy the book Heal Your Headache by David Buchholz, M.D., but short answer, as a lay-person, it’s part of the migraine. You know how you can have a visual aura? People also can have symptoms of the auditory, somatosensory, motor symptoms, olfactory, vestibular, cognitive, and even psychic and emotional symptoms. So, we’re dizzy, because we’re having vestibular migraine.

Cat, why does he think you have brain damage?

Thanks Cat,

Julie

Ok guys, now I’m really freaking out. Permanent damage???

Frightening, because it almost makes sense. But, how come we never heard of this???

Julie- In the book “Heal your Headache” was there any kind of reference to that? (Guess maybe I need to pull it back out and read it again :shock: ) I used to be an avid reader, but not anymore. No concentration…

Oh wow, Cat - when do you see this guy again? We’ll send you in there with a BIG list of questions !!! :lol:

Ugh, no sleep for me tonight :cry:

Kim

Kim,

i think if he had mentioned it we would both have remembered that one, huh?

I Google scholared “migraine brain damage” and didn’t come up with much, so sleep tight Kim. I think your brain is safe for the night. This will be something interesting to look into though, yes?

Julie

Do Migraines Lead to Brain Damage?
abcnews.go.com/WNT/Story?id=131604&page=1

Heather

Thanks Heather, I should have done a regular Google search. Like we all needed another reason for taking these meds, right?

The article talks about us having abnormal MRIs. Did anybody else find that to be true? Mine was normal. And these lesions they talk about - were they found on MRIs. I have no lesions, but others on the board have talked about having found lesions on their MRIs which sent them down the road of worrying about MS.

Sounds like this theory is just theory right now. My first gut reaction to Catlee’s post last night was similar to Kim’s. And the felt sensation I had last year, in my brain, was that it WAS being damaged by what was happening. But right now, I’m taking my meds, stopping the process, trying to live my life.

Julie

My last MRI showed an ischemic area. I brought this up to my neuologist and he wants to see the actual images. He didn’t have time to discuss my headaches, so, we will see what he says next month, IF he has time. Wouldn’t it be ironic if it was all connected?

— Begin quote from “catlee”

Hi everyone

Well I went to my neurologist the other day and he reckons that my migraine has caused permanent albeit minor central nervous system damage.

Initially he didn’t know whether the damage was peripheral or central - now he seems to think it’s central.

Can anyone explain to me why we feel dizzy all the time as a result of migraine - without any pain - how does it cause permanent damage? Has anyone else been told the damage they have is central?

Thanks
Cat

— End quote

From what I have read, permanent nerve damage can be caused by migraines over a length of time from reduced blood circulation to a specific area. It has something to do with the blood vessels constricting, thereby causing the muscles in the area of a migraine to tense up and decrease blood flow to that area.

— Begin quote from ____

My last MRI showed an ischemic area. I brought this up to my neuologist and he wants to see the actual images. He didn’t have time to discuss my headaches, so, we will see what he says next month, IF he has time. Wouldn’t it be ironic if it was all connected?
— Begin quote from ____

— Begin quote from “Brian B”

From what I have read, permanent nerve damage can be caused by migraines over a length of time from reduced blood circulation to a specific area. It has something to do with the blood vessels constricting, thereby causing the muscles in the area of a migraine to tense up and decrease blood flow to that area.

— End quote

— End quote

— End quote

ischemia = restriction in blood supply with resultant damage or dysfunction of the tissues. Let us know what/if that neurologist has to say about this.

Thanks Julie for the confirmation and better wording of what I said. :slight_smile:

Thank YOU, brian, for linking it up with migraine.

Actually, my intention was simply to point out that Catlee had used the word ischemia and you pointed out the problem of constriction and lack of blood flow due to migraine - i just wanted to bring them together in one post - sorry if that was elementary.

Hi Gang,

I have to be honest … that article did not exactly put a smile on my face. I’m wondering just how true this all is. I mean has anyone ever heard of a migraine sufferer becoming more and more disabled as the years pass by? I haven’t. You would think that increased brain damage would mean more and more cognitive impairment. I’ve definitely been the same since this all began.

Halmagyi said to me last year we could do an MRI scan of my brain and look for lesions but it would possibly indicate MS, and if that were the case, there’s nothing much they can do about it anyway and most importantly I wouldn’t be able to get life insurance! I didn’t leave that appt skipping down the street.

Scott 8)

Gidday Scott,
I was one of those bunnies that had an MRI which showed up lesions and my neuro said that MS may be a possibility.

Quote from Buchholz’s Heal Your Headache:
“A variation on this theme is the unnecessary MRi scan showing small, bright spots in the brain that are overinterpreted as strokes or as lesions of multiple sclerosis. Such spots are common, nonspecific and usually insignificant - and may be associated with migraine. But because similar findings can be seen with strokes or multiple sclerosis these diagnoses are sometimes mentioned in scan reports. Especially when you have neurological symptoms from unrecognized migraine, there is the risk that a misdiagnosis such as stroke or MS will stick. The potential consequences of such misdiagnoses are grave: not only anxiety and fear, but further (and increasingly dangerous) tests and treatments.”

…tell me about it!!! 2 yrs and 3 mths later, my neuro won’t even contemplate the MS scenario now as he is now satisfied that it is migraine related vertigo, he said that once symptoms show a particular course/pattern, they don’t generally deviate from that course and in my case, my symptoms haven’t ‘altered’ and he is only considering MAV.

But let me tell you, **mud sticks **and I have to use a lot of self control at times, not to take myself down the wrong track :roll: . I wish I could have visited Buchholz, I may not still have that element of doubt in my head.
regards, Judy

I definitely suffered sudden cognitive impairment with my big crash but it has improved as I have improved with meds. BUT i had an MRI and I had no lesions, so my cognitive impairment had nothing to do with lesions.

I copied a few quotes that I found most outstanding (bolding is mine):

*At the time of the study, the lesions did not appear to be interfering with the subject’s health or cognitive function. But more research is needed to know whether the lesions do have negative impact on health, and whether they are in fact caused by migraine attacks. *

*My theory is that there is no cure for migraines. I think the nervous system of a migraine sufferer represents a kind of variation in the population that is not going to be eliminated." *

*Still, doctors agree prevention of migraines is optimal both for increasing the sufferer’s quality of life and possibly averting brain damage. “The more [headaches] you have, the more you get,” *

I bolded this last statement because I felt this viscious cycle going on.

Certainly a serious subject, Julie

Just a couple of points here:

Older people can also have white lesions in their brain it’s often a part of old age.
When they thought I could have MS, I was talking to a girl with MS on another site,
she said some people with MS sometimes don’t have lesions show up in the brain, it might only show up in the spine.
I was really peed off when they only gave me an MRI of my brain and not my spine.

also Migrian is very commen symptom of MS
my Aunty has MS.
jen

Here we go guys ,
this is an article from the MDDs site, Donna found it not me.

hyper.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/44/5/625

Between a third and 80% of MRI scans done in persons over the age of 65
have changes in their cerebral white matter (Wong et al, 2002). MRI
studies of older persons with disequilibrium and gait disturbances of
unknown cause often show frontal atrophy and subcortical white matter
T2 hyperintense foci. (Kerber et al, 1998). Pathological studies,
though scanty, suggest frontal atrophy, ventriculomegaly, reactive
astrocytes in the frontal periventricular white matter, and increased
arteriolar wall thickness (Whitman et al, 1999).
Previous associations for periventriicular white matter (PWM) lesions
have included normal senescent changes (called UBO’s, for "unidentified
bright objects), multi-infarct demetia (Binswanger’s disease), as an
accompaniment of migraine, and a familial variant, CADASIL. Of these,
the most common association is that of simply growing older.
Periventricular location seems to cause more serious consequences.
Individuals with PVM lesions perform nearly 1 SD below average on tasks
involving psychomotor speed. White matter (WM) abnormalities, not
necessarily periventricular, as well as decreased white matter volume
was found to be both independent factors in predicting decreased
mobility in older persons (Guttman et al, 2000).
Pathologically, PWM correspond to areas of myelin thinning and gliosis,
and are often accompanied by lacunar (small holes) infarctions and
small vessel atherosclerotic disease. PVM relate to vascular disease
and vascular risk factors. A long period of hypertension is the most
common cause. Clinical studies also show association with diabetes, but
not consistently with atherosclerosis.
WM lesions are associated with retinal microvascular abnormalities.
Persons with both WM lesions and retinopathy have a much higher risk of
clinical stroke (20% vs 1.4%), (Wong et al, 2002).
Treatment:
Practically, this is a statistical association. PVM cannot be clearly
shown to cause any particular symptom complex. In other words, one can
never be entirely certain that the patients gait disorder, or other
neurological symptoms is caused by PWM vs. another cause. We advocate
attention to reducing vascular risk factors, especially hypertension
and diabetes. With respect to the gait ataxia symptom, empirical
treatment including physical therapy, and in some cases, trials of
medications such as antidepressants or anti-parkinsonian drugs should
be considered.

References:
o Fife TD, Baloh RW. Disequilibrium of unknown causes in older
people. Ann Neurol 1993;34:594-702.
o Baloh RW, Sloane PD and Honrubia V: Quantitative vestibular
function testing in elderly patients with dizziness. Ear, Nose and
Throat 1989;68:935-939.
o Belal A, Glorig A. Disequilibrium of aging (presbyastasis). J
Laryngol Otol 1986; 100:1037-41.
o De Groot and others. Cerebral white matter lesions and
cognitive function: the Rotterdam Scan study. Ann Neurol 2000:47:145-
151.
o Guttmann CRG and others. White matter abnormalities in mobility
impaired older persons. Neurology 2000:54, 1277-1283
o Inzitari D. Age-related white matter changes and cognitive
impairment (Editorial). Ann Neurol 47,2, 2000, p 141-142
o Kerber KA, Enrietto JA, Jacobson BA, Baloh RW. Disequilibrium
in older people. A prospective study. Neurology 1998: 51:574-580
o Whitman GT and others. Neuropathology in older people with
disequilibrium of unknown cause. Neurology, 1999, 53, 375-382
o Wong TY et al. Cerebral white matter lesions, retinopathy and
incidenc clinical stroke. Jama 2002 288:67-74

another article.
headaches.about.com/cs/managemen … esions.htm

spooky!
maybe this is why my Dr says we have to stop these migs no matter what it takes,
shame my Neuro didnt care.
jen

Thanks for the links, Jen

Hi Jen, Julie & all, thanks for the link. Because I’m obviously not a ‘medico’ and struggle a bit with terminology, every time I read ‘infarct’ I think of ‘fart’ :mrgreen: !!! Or maybe that’s just my toilet sense of humour!

Sometimes you just gotta laugh!

regards
Judy (hope I don’t ‘infarct’ (lol))