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Migraines hurt, but no cognitive decline

BOSTON, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- Migraines may hurt, but they are not associated with cognitive decline, U.S. researchers found.

Lead author Pamela Rist, a research fellow in the Division of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, and colleagues analyzed data from the Women's Health Study, a cohort of nearly 40,000 women, age 45 and older.

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Researchers analyzed data from 6,349 women, who provided information about migraine status at baseline and then participated in cognitive testing during follow-up. Cognitive testing was carried out in two-year intervals up to three times.

"Compared with women with no history of migraine, those who experienced migraine with or without aura did not have significantly different rates of cognitive decline," Rist said in a statement. "This is an important finding for both physicians and patients. Patients with migraine and their treating doctors should be reassured that migraine may not have long-term consequences on cognitive function."

Although, there is still a lot that is unknown about migraines, the finding offers promising evidence for patients and their treating physicians, but more research needs to be done to understand the consequences of migraine on the brain.

The study was published in the British Medical Journal.

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