People Who Get Migraines in Middle Age May Be More Likely to Develop ParkinsonÛªs People who experience migraine in middle age may be more likely to develop ParkinsonÛªs disease, or other movement disorders later in life according to a study published in the online issue of Neurologyå¨, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Those who have migraine with aura may be at double the risk of developing ParkinsonÛªs. “Migraine with aura” is a relatively new name for the less common type of migraine headache. Aura refers to feelings and symptoms you notice shortly before the headache begins. ÛÏMigraine is the most common brain disorder in both men and women,Û said study author Ann I. Scher, PhD, with Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, MD, and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. ÛÏIt has been linked in other studies to cerebrovascular and heart disease. This new possible association is one more reason research is needed to understand, prevent and treat the condition.Û For the study, 5,620 people between the ages of 33 and 65 were followed for 25 years. At the beginning of the study, a total of 3,924 of the participants had no headaches, 1,028 had headaches with no migraine symptoms, 238 had migraine with no aura and 430 had migraine with aura. Later, the investigators assessed whether the participants had any symptoms of ParkinsonÛªs or had been diagnosed with ParkinsonÛªs or had symptoms of restless legs syndrome (RLS). RLS is also known as Willis-Ekbom disease. The study found that people with migraine with aura were more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with ParkinsonÛªs than people with no headaches. A total of 2.4 percent of those with migraine with aura had the disease, compared to 1.1 percent of those with no headaches. People with migraine with aura had 3.6 the odds of reporting at least four of six parkinsonian symptoms, while those with migraine with no aura had 2.3 times the odds of these symptoms. Overall, 19.7 percent of those with migraine with aura had symptoms, compared to 12.6 percent of those with migraine with no aura and 7.5 percent of those with no headaches. Women with migraine with aura were also more likely to have a family history of ParkinsonÛªs disease compared to those with no headaches. The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute on Aging, the Icelandic Heart Association and the Icelandic Parliament. To learn more about migraine and movement disorders, visit www.aan.com/patients.