Researchers from Harvard Medical School completed an interesting study on migraine and certain changes in the brain cortex. Researchers are always looking for large sign-posts that will show that someone has migraine, or that will point to an underlying cause. Because we know so little about the brain, our current technology can only show us so much, and often seems to “miss” the tiny changes that we know are there but just can’t see.
The researchers found that, using certain imaging techniques, they were able to see a difference in the brains of those with migraine. They found that there was a thickening of two parts of the brain cortex. It was the same with patient that had migraine with aura, and migraine without.
Visual sign-posts like this could give us a way to better diagnose migraine. More importantly in the long term, they could give us clues about the cause and effect of migraine.
Researchers are speculating about what this may mean. One part of the brain that had a change was the Lateral geniculate nucleus, which processes information from the eyes. Could this explain why migraineurs have visual problems – sometimes even when they’re not having an attack? Are there more similarities than we thought between migraine with aura and migraine without? Further research into the brain may answer some of these questions.
Read all the details of this study entitled Anatomical Alterations of the Visual Motion Processing Network in Migraine with and without Aura.