Most of us are aware that migraineurs have some comorbid conditions like generalised anxiety disorder, cardiovascular conditions and gastrointestinal disturbances. Research now has it that migraineurs especially women who have either experienced repeated episodes of migraines in the past or continue to have migraines are more likely to experience depression.
Women Migraineurs Very Likely To Develop Depression (1)
In fact another report goes on to suggest that the most ‘important’ comorbidity of migraines is depression with as many as 40% of all migraineurs also suffer from forms of depression. (2)
New research released on 23rd of February which was presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 64th Annual Meeting showed that migraining women specifically had a higher risk of almost double for developing depression than those women who did not experience migraines.
This study had examined the medical history of 36,154 women participants. The whole population studied were classified into 4 groups:
- Women with migraines and experiencing aura
- Women with migraines who do not experience aura
- Women who had suffered migraines in the past but have not in the last one year
- Women who never had migraines
It was observed after collection and analysis of data that as many as 18% of the studied population had either current or past history of migraines and that of this group of 6, 456 women almost half of them developed depression 14 years on.
Another observation of note was that the results in terms of the probability of developing depression for women migraineurs remains almost same regardless of the type of migraines they experience (i.e. with or without visual aura)
The results did not vary substantially, regardless of the type of migraine. Those with aura, which is described as visual disturbances that appear as flashing lights, zigzag lines or a temporary loss of vision, had the same risks as other types of migraine.
According to Tobias Kurth, MD, ScD, with Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and Inserm in France and a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, “This is one of the first large studies to examine the association between migraine and the development of depression over time. We hope our findings will encourage doctors to speak to their migraine patients about the risk of depression and potential ways to prevent depression.” (3)
This is a cue to doctors and headache specialists who treat migraineurs for assessing the patient for possible symptoms of depression and chalking out an appropriate management program for them.
- Image by David Castillo Dominici; Freedigitalphotos.net; February 2012; http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=3062
- Comorbidities of Migraine – Page 4; Lisa K Mannix, MD; February 2012; http://www.headaches.org/pdf/CME_Mono02.pdf
- Migraine Increases Risk Of Depression In Women; Medical News Today; February 2012; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/242091.php
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