Migraine heightens sensitivity to pain

April 22nd, 2008 - 1:08 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, April 22 (IANS) People with migraine are more likely to experience heightened skin sensitivity or pain even while rubbing their heads or combing their hair as compared to those with other types of headaches. Researchers surveyed 16,573 people about their type of headache, frequency, quality of life, depression and other illnesses that cause pain. It identified 11,737 participants with migraine, 1,491 with probable migraine (individuals have all but one of the symptoms required for migraine diagnosis) and 3,345 with another kind of headache.

The study found that 68 percent of those who reported almost daily headaches (chronic migraine) and 63 percent of those with episodic migraines reported allodynia, the name of this intensified and unpleasant, painful skin sensitivity.

Forty-two percent of people with probable migraine reported the skin pain compared to 37 percent of those with daily or tension headache.

“This condition causes discomfort or pain even during everyday activities like touching one’s hair or putting on clothes,” said study author Marcelo E. Bigal, of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx.

Identifying risk factors for progression is a very important public health priority. For example, it may be that individuals with allodynia should be more aggressively treated in order to prevent migraine progression, as well as to decrease this sensitivity on the skin.”

The study also found this type of skin pain was more common in women with migraine and people with migraine who were obese or had depression.

These findings were published in Tuesday issue of Neurology(r).

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