Migraine sufferers at increased anxiety risk

January 22nd, 2009 - 2:07 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Jan 22 (ANI): A new study has found that people who suffer from migraine might be at an increased risk of developing mental disorders such as anxiety and depression.
According to the researchers, migraine headaches can precede the onset of mental disorders.
“Together, migraine and mental disorders cause more impairment than alone,” said lead study author Gregory Ratcliffe.
“Patients who have one condition should be assessed for the other so they can be treated holistically. Although it is important to know that both are present, treating one will have an effect on the other,” he added.
During the study, researchers found that 11 percent of participants had migraines.
They had had a variety of disorders: major depression, general anxiety disorder, dysthymia, bipolar disorder, panic attacks, panic disorder, substance abuse disorders, agoraphobia and simple phobia.
One possible explanation, according to the authors, might be that a common factor influences both conditions, such as low activity of enzymes that deactivate certain chemical messages sent to the brain.
In the second theory, they considered a causal relationship: This study and others found that anxiety often precedes migraine, which often precedes depression.
Frederick Taylor, M.D., director of the Park Nicollet Headache Clinic in St. Louis Park, Minn., said that migraine co-morbidities - depression, anxiety and other disorders - affect 83 percent of migraineurs and explain 65 percent of their inability to function in life, more than the pain itself.
The study appears in journal General Hospital Psychiatry. (ANI)

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