Coagulation abnormalities in migraine and ischaemic cerebrovascular disease: a link between migraine and ischaemic stroke?
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Migraine, particularly migraine with aura, is a risk factor for ischaemic stroke. The mechanisms underlying this association are obscure. One hypothesis is that shared risk factors may be the cause of this association. Over the last decade, studies have suggested an association between migraine and genetic abnormalities in coagulation factors which play an important role in stroke pathogenesis. Although the results of studies on various prothrombotic conditions are conflicting, findings suggest a higher frequency of some genetic abnormalities in migraine with aura patients. Thus, persistent hypercoagulability may explain the tendency for these patients to develop thromboembolic cerebrovascular events, especially when they are exposed to additional procoagulant stresses. Further studies on larger samples are required to test this hypothesis.