Washington: Adults who suffer from migraine are more likely to have incomplete network of arteries supplying blood flow to the brain, a new study has revealed.
The research conducted by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has found that variations in arterial anatomy lead to asymmetries in cerebral blood flow that might contribute to the process triggering migraines.
The arterial supply of blood to the brain is protected by a series of connections between the major arteries, termed the "circle of Willis."
People with migraine, particularly migraine with aura, are more likely to be missing components of the circle of Willis.
Study`s lead author, Brett Cucchiara , MD, Associate Professor of Neurology said that people with migraine actually have differences in the structure of their blood vessels - this is something you are born with.
"These differences seem to be associated with changes in blood flow in the brain, and it`s possible that these changes may trigger migraine, which may explain why some people, for instance, notice that dehydration triggers their headaches," Cucchiara said.
In a study of 170 people from three groups - a control group with no headaches, those who had migraine with aura, and those who had migraine without aura - the team found that an incomplete circle of Willis was more common in people with migraine with aura (73 percent) and migraine without aura (67 percent), compared to a headache-free control group (51 percent).
The team used magnetic resonance angiography to examine blood vessel structure and a noninvasive magnetic resonance imaging method pioneered at the University of Pennsylvania, called Arterial spin labeling (ASL), to measure changes in cerebral blood flow.
The study was published in journal PLOS ONE.