Neurological Sciences

, Volume 32, Supplement 1, pp 37–40 | Cite as

Brain white matter lesions in migraine: what’s the meaning?

  • Bruno Colombo
  • D. Dalla Libera
  • G. Comi
Migraine Pathophysiology


Migraine has been associated with structural brain damage. Several studies have reported an association between migraine and brain white matter lesions or clinically silent infarct-like abnormalities in the posterior circulation territory. The origin of these lesions is still unclear. The cause is commonly interpreted as ischemic, which is consistent with the association of migraine, particularly with aura, with vascular risk factors. The relationship between increased volume of white matter hyperintensities and a history of severe headache per se is under debate. The clinical relevance of this brain damage deserves further investigations even if an association between cognitive impairment and migraine or headache of any type is not confirmed.


Migraine White matter lesions Magnetic resonance imaging Functional magnetic resonance 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no actual or potential conflict of interest in relation to this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neurology, Headache Center, IRCCS San Raffaele HospitalVita-Salute UniversityMilanItaly

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