Migraines linked to higher risk of dementia


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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A new analysis has identified a link between migraines and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementia, with the authors saying the finding has implications for migraine management. 

Researchers analysed data on 679 community‐dwelling participants aged 65 years and older from the Manitoba Study of Health and Aging. Participants screened as cognitively intact at baseline. At follow-up after five years, 7.5 per cent of participants had developed dementia, 5.1 per cent had developed AD and 1.9 per cent had developed vascular dementia (VaD). No male participants with a history of migraine developed dementia. 

The authors found a history of migraines was significantly associated with both all‐cause dementia (odds ratio [OR] 2.97; 95% CI 1.25‐6.61) and AD (OR 4.22; 95% CI 1.59‐10.42), even after adjustment for confounding and intervening variables. Migraines were not however significantly associated with VaD. 

Presenting the findings in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, the authors said the study has a number of implications for clinical practice including earlier screening for cognitive decline in migraine sufferers, as well as more aggressive treatment of potential intervening variables to delay dementia, improve quality of life and increase the likelihood of healthy ageing.