Research released today and scheduled to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 64th Annual Meeting in New Orleans, April 21 to April 28, shows that women who have a tendency for migraines or have had them in the past, have a greater risk for developing depression.
The study gathered data on more than 36,000 women, who were all classified as not having depression. They were enrolled in the Women’s Health Study and gave information about their history of migraines.
The women were categorized as either having :
- Active migraine with aura
- Active migraine without aura
- Past history of migraine (but not within the last year)
- No history of migraine.
The women also gave information about diagnoses of depression.
From 36,154, a total of 6,456 had current or past problems with migraines, and during the following 14 years of the study, more than half of them developed depression.
Those that had a history of migraines were nearly twice as likely to develop depression as those that had no history of the affliction. 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.
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 said :
“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.”
It’s useful information that patients and doctors alike should be aware of when treating depression.
Written by Rupert Shepherd.