Neuropsychology of migraine: Present status and future directions

Sidney O'Bryant, Dawn A. Marcus, Jeanetta C. Rains, Donald B. Penzien

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Migraine is recognized as a primarily neural condition. Changes in neural physiology have been consistently identified in migraineurs. Numerous studies are available that evaluate physical and functional differences between migraineurs and headache-free controls. The most prominent neuroimaging findings reported in migraine sufferers have been white matter changes. However, physical changes on neuroimaging have not been clearly correlated with functional impairment in migraineurs. The current literature addressing the neuropsychologic consequences of migraine has been far from conclusive, and reports of cognitive testing in adult migraineurs and controls has yielded inconsistent results. Neuropsychologic testing suggests that there may be some subtle but possibly significant changes in cognition that occur both during and between migraine episodes. A finding emerging with some consistency is that migraine patients with aura experience more neuropsychologic deficits than migraine patients without aura. The few studies that assess nonmigraine headache suggest that physical changes may not be unique to migraine, although neuropsychologic changes do appear to be limited to migraineurs. An examination of the unmet needs and priorities for future research addressing this important topic is provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-370
Number of pages8
JournalExpert Review of Neurotherapeutics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 May 2005


  • Headache
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Migraine
  • Neurobehavioral
  • Neurocognitive
  • Neuroimaging
  • Neuropsychology
  • Side effects


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