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Migraines linked to heart defect

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The British Heart Foundation has called for more research into study findings that show children who see flashing lights during a migraine have twice the normal likelihood of having a hole in the heart.

The research carried out at the University of Utah found that of 109 children aged over six who were migraine sufferers, about half who saw flashing flights - called an aura - had the heart defect.

Amy Thompson, a senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: “There could be a number of explanations for this link so further research needs to be carried out before we draw any firm conclusions.

“Once we understand the relationship in more detail it could signal an improvement in patient care.”

Previous research has demonstrated a link in adults between a hole in the heart - known as a patent foramen ovale - and migraine with aura. It led to attempts to treat migraine by surgery to close the hole, when other migraine therapies have failed.

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