Do Migraines Cause Memory Loss?

Women with Migraine Headache illustration

Migraines themselves do not typically cause memory loss. However, some people who experience migraines may report cognitive difficulties, including memory problems, as a part of their migraine experience. These cognitive symptoms are often referred to as “migraine-associated cognitive dysfunction” or “migraine-related cognitive impairment.” Some characteristics of this condition may include:

  • Brain Fog: People with migraines may experience a sense of mental cloudiness or difficulty concentrating during a migraine attack, which can make it feel like memory is affected.
  • Aura: Some individuals experience visual disturbances, known as migraine with aura, which can include temporary vision changes or sensory disturbances. These symptoms may affect perception and memory during an attack.
  • Postdrome Phase: Following a migraine attack, some people experience a “postdrome” phase, often characterized by fatigue, irritability, and cognitive difficulties, which may include memory problems.

It’s important to note that these cognitive symptoms are usually temporary and resolve after the migraine episode subsides. They are thought to be linked to the physiological changes in the brain that occur during a migraine. While memory issues during a migraine can be distressing, they are generally not indicative of a long-term or permanent memory loss.

If you experience frequent or severe migraines with cognitive symptoms, it’s a good idea to consult with a healthcare provider or a neurologist who specializes in migraine management. They can help you manage your migraines and discuss strategies to alleviate the cognitive difficulties that may accompany them. Additionally, they can rule out any other underlying conditions that might contribute to memory issues.

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