Migraine headache sufferers may be fearful that this condition raises Alzheimer’s disease risk, because migraine headaches are associated with a higher incidence of small lesions within the brain that are picked up by MRI.
Interestingly, according to a study involving 780 people over the age of 65, having repetitive and significant headaches, or migraines, does not increase the risk of this disease.
In fact, migraines were shown not even to increase the odds of cognitive decline (cognitive decline doesn’t necessarily mean Alzheimer’s or eventual Alzheimer’s).
This research conclusion comes from Inserm and Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris.
It is a fact that in people with a migraine headache history, more of these people, when compared to the general population, have lesions in the microvessels of their brains.
However, such lesions are a universal finding in the elderly population.
The severity, though, varies quite a bit from one person to the next, and they are more severe among people with a history of migraine headaches.
Do you suffer from headaches?
“As an Alzheimer’s specialist, I can say that I have never seen any relationship between headaches or head pain and the development of Alzheimer’s,” says Dr. Robert Williams, MD is a family medicine doctor and geriatrician in Lakewood, Colorado and is a medical advisor for eMediHealth.
Dr. Williams explains, “One should be more concerned about a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, obesity and social seclusion.
“For the most part, activities that increase the risk for heart disease and hypertension also increase the risk for dementia.
“One type of dementia is specifically due to having multiple small strokes over a lifetime which is typically due to poorly controlled cardiovascular disease.”
Lower the Risk of Alzheimer’s
- Stop smoking or don’t start.
- Lose weight if you have excess body fat.
- Limit drinking.
- Maintain a normal blood pressure.
- Avoid excess dietary sodium.
- Work out regularly.
- Limit processed foods.
- Get annual heart checkups after age 50.
- Keep intellectually active.