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Stroke

MRI white matter lesion/migraine?

01/22/2006

Question:

I am wondering if a severe migraine can cause a white matter lesion? I have very infrequent migraines (about one every two years). After my last one, about 8 months ago, I had an MRI, which showed a lesion in the white matter. Is this possibly attributable to the migraines? I`m actually worried it could indicate MS, stroke, or aneurysm. I`m a 35yo female in otherwise perfect health. Thanks.

Answer:

Please see "Help in Understanding MRI results" dated 9/14/05 for a general description of white matter changes seen on the MRI scan.  There have been several other questions of this type since 9/14/-5 also.

Patients with migraines are indeed associated with more white matter "spots" on MRI than others of the same age without migraines.

From what you have told me, the MRI finding in your case is probably nothing to worry about.  However, you should discuss the finding with your local doctor (especially a neurologist, if you see one) to put this result in the proper context, since they know your entire medical history.

For more information:

Go to the Stroke health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Brett   Kissela, MD Brett Kissela, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Director, Neurology Residency Program
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati