Executive Dysfunctions in Migraine With and Without Aura: What Is the Role of White Matter Lesions?


  • Conflict of Interest: None.



Executive dysfunctions and white matter lesions on magnetic resonance imaging have been reported in migraine. The aim of this study was to determine whether any correlation between these 2 variables exists.

Materials and Methods

Forty-four subjects affected by migraine with or without aura were compared with 16 healthy subjects. A battery of neuropsychological tests assessing executive functions was administered to all subjects. Number and total volume of white matter lesions were assessed in the whole brain and in the frontal lobe.


The performances of both groups of migraineurs, with and without aura, were significantly worse when compared with controls on Boston Scanning Test. Moreover, we found lower performances compared with controls respectively on Frontal Assessment Battery in patients with migraine with aura and on Controlled Oral Word Association Test in patients with migraine without aura. Nineteen patients (43.2%) and one control subject (6.2%) had white matter lesions. We did not find any significant correlation between white matter lesions load and neuropsychological performances.


On the basis of our results, white matter lesions load on magnetic resonance imaging do not seem to contribute to neuropsychological performances deficit in migraineurs.