Migraine, depression, and allodynia

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Migraines and depression have been linked in studies before, suggesting a higher comorbidity of the two especially with migraines with aura.

This study: Allodynia is associated with a higher prevalence of depression in migraine patients  aimed to identify migraine-specific factors involved in the association of depression and migraines.

  • 3,624 migraineurs within the LUMINA project were sent a depression questionnaire
  • (mean age: 41.7 11.9) based on migraine diagnosis.
  • 3,177 (87.7%) returned this depression questionnaire.
  • 2,533 were eventually included in the analysis because the questionnaires of the others were incomplete. (Migraine and Depression – Study Shows Allodynia Is a Factor)

Results (Source: Migraine and Depression – Study Shows Allodynia Is a Factor)

  • Of the 2,533 eligible migraineurs who participated in the study, 1,137 (45%) experienced lifetime depression.
  • Of the 2,533 eligible migraineurs who participated in the study, 1,767 (70%) experienced allodynia (a condition in which an ordinarily painless stimulus is experienced as being painful) during migraine attacks.

Significant associations with depression were found for several migraine-specific variables, including:

  • attack frequency,
  • number of migraine days,
  • use of preventive medication, and
  • allodynia

Significant associations with depression were found for several variables that were not migraine-specific 

  •  poor quality sleep, sleep disturbances;
  • gender (female)
  • body mass index (BMI) (higher);
  • level of education (lower);
  • smoking; and
  • low alcohol consumption

The study concludes that “allodynia, in addition to high migraine attack frequency, as a new migraine-specific factor associated with depression.” Also “Pathophysiologically, the triad migraine, depression and allodynia may suggest a self-reinforcing dysfunction of central nervous system (CNS) structures involved in the modulation of neuronal excitability and pain.”

Studies looking at allodynia and migraine are fascinating in themselves to me because what that suggests about migraines is interesting to me. Also I have it so it is always interesting to know more about it. What factors contribute to these comorbid conditions is quite fascinating and what possible connections they may have.

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