HealthDay News — Migraines are a significant risk factor for Alzheimer disease (AD) and all-cause dementia, according to a study published online Sept. 4 in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

Rebecca E. Morton, from University of Waterloo in Canada, and colleagues used data from 679 community-dwelling older adults (≥65 years) participating in the Manitoba Study of Health and Aging to evaluate the relationship between migraines and dementia, including AD and vascular dementia (VaD).

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The researchers found that a history of migraines was significantly associated with both all-cause dementia (odds ratio [OR], 2.97; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.25 to 6.61) and AD (OR, 4.22; 95 percent CI, 1.59 to 10.42), even after adjusting for confounding and intervening variables. No significant association was noted between migraines and VaD in unadjusted (OR, 1.83; 95 percent CI, 0.39 to 8.52) or adjusted (OR, 1.52; 95 percent CI, 0.20 to 7.23) analyses.

“Recognition of the long-term detrimental consequences of migraines for AD and dementia has implications for migraine management, as well as for our understanding of AD etiology,” the authors write.

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