It is well known that Migraine disease and major depressive disorder (clinical depression) are often comorbid. There are over 37 million Americans suffering from Migraine and 20 million people with depression. A group of Canadian doctors released a study exploring whether major depressive episodes (MDE) are linked with an increase risk of Migraine and whether Migraine is linked with an increase of MDE.
Migraine is a genetic neurological disease thought to be caused by overactive neurons in our brains and genetics. A Migraine attack can have four phases; prodrome, aura, headache and postdrome. But not each person experiences a Migraine the same way. Major depressive episode (MDE) is a group of symptoms distinguished in major depressive disorder that includes changes in mood, lack of interest in daily activity and unhappiness for at least two weeks.
The study was a 12-year follow up of more than 15,000 participants who were 12 years or older. After adaptations were taken for other various chronic health conditions the participants had, their age and gender, the study concluded that patients with Migraine had a 60% higher risk in experiencing a MDE than those without Migraine. For participants who already had MDE, the risk was 40% greater they would develop Migraine compared to those without MDE. The former connection decreased after adjustments were made for childhood trauma and stress.
Just from reading the abstract, one can see the link between MDE and Migraine. As many Migraineurs know, it isn’t hard to understand that Migraine and depression often go hand in hand.
"Major Depression Episodes: Symptoms." PsychCentral.com. June 2010.
Modgill, G. MSc; Jette, N. MD, MSc; Wang, J. L. PhD; Becker, W. MD. "A Population-Based Longitudinal Community Study of Major Depression and Migraine." Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain. 2011; 51.
Robert, Teri. "Migraine Disease and Bi-Polar, A Link." MyMigraineConnection.com. Novembern14, 2007.
© Nancy Harris Bonk, 2011.
Last updated November 28, 2011.