Doctors find alteration in the brain that would explain chronic migraines

Despite being very common, chronic migraine is still surrounded by mysteries and science does not understand exactly how it happens. However, American doctors managed, with magnetic resonance images of the brain, to get closer to understanding what causes the picture.

Health professionals have identified that people with the painful condition have fluid-filled spaces around blood vessels in the central regions of the brain.

The study will be presented next week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North AmericaπŸ‡§πŸ‡· Doctors and researchers at the University of Southern California (USC), in the United States, believe that patients with the observed characteristics have problems eliminating waste from the brain and nervous system.

β€œThe perivascular spaces (around blood vessels) are part of the brain’s fluid-clearing system. So, investigating how they contribute to migraines can help us better understand how they occur,” says researcher Wilson Xu, lead author of the study, in a statement from USC.

To carry out the experiment, the doctors had 25 people between 25 and 60 years old with different conditions: ten had chronic migraines, ten had episodic migraines and five were healthy. They were grouped according to age and underwent ultra-resolution magnetic resonance imaging.

“This type of MRI can be used to reveal much smaller changes that occur in brain tissue after a migraine,” said Xu.


The analysis revealed that the number of fluid-filled spaces was significantly higher in migraine patients compared to healthy people. According to doctors, the characteristic is related to an interruption of the system responsible for eliminating waste from the central nervous system.

According to the main author of the study, the results of the investigations may inspire further research on the subject. One of the scientist’s suggestions is to analyze how changes in microscopic blood vessels in the brain act in different types of migraine and, in the future, finally understand how to diagnose and treat the problem correctly.

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