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Attack Frequency and Disease Duration as Indicators for Brain Damage in Migraine

Authors

  • Nicole Schmitz PhD,

    1. From the Department of Radiology, Leiden Universtity Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands (N. Schmitz, E.B. Arkink, Mark C. Kruit, and M.A.van Buchem); Department of Radiology, LKEB, Leiden Universtity Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands (F. Admiraal-Behloul); Department of Neurology, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands (G.G. Schoonman and M.D. Ferrari).
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  • Faiza Admiraal-Behloul PhD,

    1. From the Department of Radiology, Leiden Universtity Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands (N. Schmitz, E.B. Arkink, Mark C. Kruit, and M.A.van Buchem); Department of Radiology, LKEB, Leiden Universtity Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands (F. Admiraal-Behloul); Department of Neurology, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands (G.G. Schoonman and M.D. Ferrari).
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  • Enrico B. Arkink MD,

    1. From the Department of Radiology, Leiden Universtity Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands (N. Schmitz, E.B. Arkink, Mark C. Kruit, and M.A.van Buchem); Department of Radiology, LKEB, Leiden Universtity Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands (F. Admiraal-Behloul); Department of Neurology, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands (G.G. Schoonman and M.D. Ferrari).
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  • Mark C. Kruit MD,

    1. From the Department of Radiology, Leiden Universtity Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands (N. Schmitz, E.B. Arkink, Mark C. Kruit, and M.A.van Buchem); Department of Radiology, LKEB, Leiden Universtity Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands (F. Admiraal-Behloul); Department of Neurology, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands (G.G. Schoonman and M.D. Ferrari).
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  • Guus G. Schoonman MD,

    1. From the Department of Radiology, Leiden Universtity Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands (N. Schmitz, E.B. Arkink, Mark C. Kruit, and M.A.van Buchem); Department of Radiology, LKEB, Leiden Universtity Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands (F. Admiraal-Behloul); Department of Neurology, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands (G.G. Schoonman and M.D. Ferrari).
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  • Michel D. Ferrari MD,

    1. From the Department of Radiology, Leiden Universtity Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands (N. Schmitz, E.B. Arkink, Mark C. Kruit, and M.A.van Buchem); Department of Radiology, LKEB, Leiden Universtity Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands (F. Admiraal-Behloul); Department of Neurology, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands (G.G. Schoonman and M.D. Ferrari).
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  • Mark A. Van Buchem MD

    1. From the Department of Radiology, Leiden Universtity Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands (N. Schmitz, E.B. Arkink, Mark C. Kruit, and M.A.van Buchem); Department of Radiology, LKEB, Leiden Universtity Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands (F. Admiraal-Behloul); Department of Neurology, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands (G.G. Schoonman and M.D. Ferrari).
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  • Conflict of Interest: None

Nicole Schmitz, Department of Radiology, Leiden University Medical Centre, Albinusdreef 2, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Objective.— The aim of this study was to pinpoint predilection sites of brain damage in migraine by quantitatively identifying morphometric and diffusion differences in migraineurs, compared with control subjects, and to assess whether migraine attack frequency and attack history are indicators for brain abnormalities in migraineurs.

Background.— Previous clinical neuroimaging investigations introduced the concept of migraine as a progressive brain disease. They reported an increased risk of white matter hyperintensities (WMH) with increasing attack frequency in migraineurs.

Methods.— We investigated 28 patients with migraine, using high-resolution T1- and diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging and optimized voxel-based morphometry to localize gray and WM density, and fractional anisotropy and apparent diffusion coefficient differences.

Results.— We identified predilection sites of brain abnormalities in migraineurs in the frontal lobes, brainstem, and the cerebellum, and we show that both attack frequency and disease duration are indicators for brain damage in migraine.

Conclusion.— Our findings report an unbiased quantitative whole brain assessment of morphological abnormalities in migraine. This might help to identify indicators for migraine as a possibly progressive brain disease. In order to reveal the causes and consequences of brain damage in migraine, further neuroimaging studies have to investigate quantitative brain changes in a longitudinal design.

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