Migraine not linked to cognitive decline

Migraines may be excruciating, but they won't cause cognitive decline according to a new study from the British Medical Journal. Previous studies suggested that migraines may be associated with cognitive declines since the headache increases patients' risk of stroke and silent brain lesions. These silent brain lesions could up your risk of cognitive decline and dementia. And since both migraine and dementia are more prevalent in women, researchers sought to investigate the potential link.

In the study, 6,349 women completed cognitive tests over a two and three year period. Researchers discovered that women with migraine did not have faster rates of cognitive decline compared to women without the condition. Whether a women had migraine with aura did not alter the results either.

Although more research is needed to understand the consequences of migraine on the brain, these results should be reassuring to migraine sufferers and their doctors alike.


Rist P, et al. Migraine and cognitive decline among women: prospective cohort study. BMJ 2012; 345 doi: 10.1136/bmj.e5027 .