Generally, migraine with aura is associated with an increased risk of ischemic stroke, especially in young women. …when compared to women without migraine aura but the absolute risk (the overall likelihood of developing ischemic stroke) is actually small.
Researchers from the Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS) reported that migraine sufferers had twice the risk of developing silent stroke when compared to people who did not report migraine episodes. This finding related more to the people who experienced migraine without aura. Silent stroke does cause permanent damage to the brain, but the damage is small, subtle and goes unnoticed. The reason for this is that silent stroke does not affect the main functional areas of the brain that lead to apparent symptoms when damaged. However, silent strokes can lead to cognitive disturbances and accumulation of such subtle damages can lead to gradual neurological deficits.
The researchers have emphasized the need for reducing the risk factors of stroke in such people. Similar concerns were also expressed in previous studies. Attention is especially needed to patients who have co-existing vascular risk factors like elevated blood pressure, elevated cholesterol level, diabetes, coronary heart disease, etc.