Current Pain and Headache Reports

, 9:289

Migraine and white matter hyperintensities

  • Alyx Porter
  • Jonathan P. Gladstone
  • David W. Dodick

DOI: 10.1007/s11916-005-0039-y

Cite this article as:
Porter, A., Gladstone, J.P. & Dodick, D.W. Current Science Inc (2005) 9: 289. doi:10.1007/s11916-005-0039-y


Patients with migraine are at increased risk for white matter hyperintensities detected on magnetic resonance imaging. The presence of nonspecific white matter hyperintensities may cause uncertainty for physicians and anxiety for patients. The pathophysiology and long-term consequences of these lesions are unknown. Occasionally, white matter lesions in a migraineur may indicate an underlying disease such as cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL), mitochondrial encephalopathy with lactic acidosis and stroke-like episodes (MELAS), or central nervous system vasculitis. The ability to distinguish between nonspecific and disease-specific patterns of white matter hyperintensities in migraine sufferers is important for the practicing clinician.

Copyright information

© Current Science Inc 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alyx Porter
  • Jonathan P. Gladstone
    • 1
  • David W. Dodick
  1. 1.Division of NeurologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada