Tuesday, April 24, 2007

More Migraines = More Memory?

This is a really interesting article, especially for those of us who suffer or have suffered from migraines:

A provocative new study has raised that improbable prospect after finding that longtime, middle-aged migraine sufferers showed less cognitive decline and memory loss over a period of 12 years than a group of migraine-free adults.

Researchers can't explain what could be a silver lining in the agonizing cloud that is migraine, but it's possible that the physiological changes that accompany the headaches might protect brain cells over the long haul.

I'm sure Serach will ask why I'm still forgetting everything she tells me. Interesting as well is that the memory retention was more pronounced for migraine sufferers with "aura" than those without it.

I actually wonder if it could be the reverse: That those people who have or utilize better memories suffer from migraines because of the extra stress on their brains. Migraines are often linked to stress, and memories and/or the inability to let something out of your mind can cause stress. I think that would make for quite an interesting study...


  1. My (unscientific) observation has been that people with migraines have very active brains. They are creative, they worry more, they obsess over things. So maybe it's just a reflection of overactivity in general.

  2. Another possible explanation is that when someone has a migraine, especially with an aura, they have to focus and concentrate much harder to remember something. The more you need to actively and consiously use memory, the more robust it remains.
    Of course, for the rest of us that means that the best solution would be a serious of unpleasant stuff like electric shocks to make memory harder and requiring more concentration.
    Not something I'd volunteer for.