The research team found that patients with migraine had an overall infarct prevalence rate of 8.1%, compared with 5% for that of controls. In the cerebellar region of the posterior circulation territory, patients with migraine had a significantly higher prevalence of infarct than did controls (5.4% versus 0.7%). In addition, patients with migraine with aura had 13.7 times the risk for infarct than did controls. In patients with migraine with a frequency of attacks of one or more per month, there was a 9.3-times increased risk. The highest risk for infarct occurred in patients with migraine with aura with one attack or more per month (15.8-times increased risk).
The investigators also found that women with migraine had twice the risk for deep white matter lesions, compared with controls. This risk increased with attack frequency (highest in those with one or more attacks per month, 2.6-times increased risk) but was similar in patients with migraine with or without aura. Male controls and patients with migraine did not differ in the prevalence of deep white matter lesions. Furthermore, no association was found between severity of periventricular white matter lesions and migraine, irrespective of gender or migraine frequency or subtype.