, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 237-248
Date: 04 Jul 2008

Comorbid neuropathologies in migraine: an update on cerebrovascular and cardiovascular aspects

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Several conditions are comorbid with migraine; our review is focused on the relation between migraine, and cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases. Despite many studies showed an association between migraine and patent foramen ovale, it is still not known whether its presence might be causal for the migraine pathogenesis and currently its closure cannot be recommended for migraine prevention. On the contrary, conflicting epidemiological data link migraine to arterial hypertension and the use of antihypertensive agents acting on the renin-angiotensin system sounds promising in migraine prevention. A complex bidirectional relation exists between migraine and stroke, and new evidences show a clear association between migraine and coronary heart disease. In both conditions, migraine represents a defined risk factor although the magnitude of the risk varies across the different studies. However, since the risk is low in the general population, it is not possible to identify which migraineurs will develop a cardiovascular or a cerebrovascular event making difficult to apply preventive measures.