Study finds brain scans not effective for migraine patients

By WEEK Producer

March 18, 2014 Updated Mar 18, 2014 at 8:44 PM CDT

Going to see a doctor for a headache could lead to unnecessary tests and cost big bucks.

One-in-eight doctor visits for migraines or headaches result in a brain scan but only 3-percent of scans reveal a potential problem.

Several national guidelines discourage brain scans for patients complaining of headaches.

A new study from the University of Michigan finds the rate of brain scans for headache has risen since these guidelines were released.

Researchers estimate headache sufferers get $1 billion worth of scans each year.