Migraine with aura increases the size of a stroke.

Migraine aura seems to indicate a different underlying brain condition than that of migraine without aura. We know that the risk of strokes is higher in patients who suffer from migraines with aura. The increase in this risk is very slight, although it is three times higher in women than in men and in women it is magnified by oral contraceptives. The risk is also increased in both men and women by the known risk factors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking, and other.

A recent study by Stephanie Nahas and other neurologists at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia discovered that aura carries another risk. A study of 139 patients admitted for stroke evaluation showed that those who had a history of migraine aura had a much larger stroke than those without. This is another reason for people who suffer from migraines with aura (or auras without a migraine) to take all possible measures to reduce their risk of strokes. These might include regular exercise, healthy diet, controlling blood pressure, blood glucose, and cholesterol. Some people could also benefit from a daily dose of aspirin (make sure to check with your doctor first), omega-3 fatty acids, and in people with high homocysteine levels, vitamin B12 and other B vitamins.

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