MRI Reveals Never-Seen-Before Spaces In Brains Of Migraine Sufferers

A new study investigated what happens to migraine sufferers. The authors of the new study sought to explore the relationship between enlarged perivascular spaces and migraines.

“To our knowledge, this is first study using ultra-high-resolution MRI to study microvascular changes in the brain due to migraine, particularly in perivascular spaces,” said study co-author Wilson Xu, from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

“Because 7T MRI is able to create images of the brain with much higher resolution and better quality than other MRI types, it can be used to demonstrate much smaller changes that happen in brain tissue after a migraine.”

Among these changes were cerebral microbleeds, along with enlarged perivascular spaces in the centrum semiovale region of the brain, in the migraine sufferers.

“In people with chronic migraine and episodic migraine without aura, there are significant changes in the perivascular spaces of a brain region called the centrum semiovale,” said Xu. “These changes have never been reported before.”

The team does hypothesize that the differences in the perivascular spaces may be indicative of disruption to the glymphatic system, which works with the perivascular spaces to clear waste from the brain.

“The results of our study could help inspire future, larger-scale studies to continue investigating how changes in the brain’s microscopic vessels and blood supply contribute to different migraine types,” Xu said.