It appears that migraine sufferers have different brains to normal folk. The somatosensory cortex area of the brain was found to be, on average, 21 per cent thicker in migraine sufferers.
According to the author of the study, Dr Nouchine Hadjikhani, it isn't yet clear if the repeated migraine attacks are responsible for these structural changes, or if the differences are the cause of the attacks.
"That is the big question," she says. "A person could be born with these cortical differences, making them susceptible to migraines later in life. But we just don't know."
Commenting on the 24 people who took part in the study, Dr Hadjikhani stated that "Most of these people had been suffering from migraines since childhood, so the long-term over-stimulation of the sensory fields in the cortex could explain these changes."
"It's also possible that people who develop migraines are naturally more sensitive to stimulation."