According to researchers, the medication migraine sufferers use to alleviate their pain and symptoms, along with the dietary and behavioral changes they implement, might play a large role in their lack of cognitive decline.
“This was a complete surprise. We found that people with migraines, specifically people with migraines with aura, which is even more counterintuitive, didn’t even decline over time at all.” - Dr. Kalaydjian, leader of research
The study, which followed over 1,448 women, of which 204 were migraine sufferers, involved having the women take a series of cognitive tests. The women took the tests once in 1993 and then again in 2005. The women that were suffering from migraines when taking the first test were found to be 17% sharper than the women that were free of migraines when they took the second test.
Interestingly, the study found that women over the age of 50 showed the least amount of decline. Researchers were unable to determine exactly why this phenomenon seemed to occur. The current theory is that changes in blood vessels or other differences in brain activity may be the reason for the difference in abilities. More research is still needed in order to determine the exact connection between age-related cognitive abilities and migraines in women.