Migraine, cerebrovascular disease and the metabolic syndrome

Sinclair, Alexandra J.; Matharu, Manjit
August 2012
Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology;Aug2012 Supplement, pS72
Academic Journal
Evidence is emerging that migraine is not solely a headache disorder. Observations that ischemic stroke could occur in the setting of a migraine attack, and that migraine headaches could be precipitated by cerebral ischemia, initially highlighted a possibly association between migraine and cerebrovascular disease. More recently, large population-based studies that have demonstrated that migraineurs are at increased risk of stroke outside the setting of a migraine attack have prompted the concept that migraine and cerebrovascular disease are comorbid conditions. Explanations for this association are numerous and widely debated, particularly as the comorbid association does not appear to be confined to the cerebral circulation as cardiovascular and peripheral vascular disease also appear to be comorbid with migraine. A growing body of evidence has also suggested that migraineurs are more likely to be obese, hypertensive, hyperlipidemic and have impaired insulin sensitivity, all features of the metabolic syndrome. The comorbid association between migraine and cerebrovascular disease may consequently be explained by migraineurs having the metabolic syndrome and consequently being at increased risk of cerebrovascular disease. This review will summarise the salient evidence suggesting a comorbid association between migraine, cerebrovascular disease and the metabolic syndrome.


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