- People with anxiety and depression can experience more frequent migraines
- Imbalance in the levels of serotonin causes anxiety and depression
- Medications used to decrease the frequency of headaches can help reduce depression and anxiety in migraine patients
Migraines were found to be linked to depression and anxiety. Individuals who sleep less are prone to developing more frequent headaches, reveals a new study.
In this study, about 588 patients who visit an outpatient headache clinic were included in the study. The participants experienced more frequent migraines and symptoms of anxiety and depression.
‘Adequate medical treatment to decrease the frequency of headaches can help reduce the risk of depression and anxiety in migraine patients.’
The study was published in the journal of Headache
Anxiety and Depression in Migraine Patients
The results of this study suggest that people need not experience symptoms of anxiety and depression so frequently or severely if migraines are treated.
In previous studies, headaches were found to be genetic to a certain extent, even though acute headaches are not fully understood.
Headaches could be triggered either by stress or hormonal changes or intense physical activity or food.
Migraines could be caused due to the interaction between the brain stem and a major nerve, reveals the research team.
In previous studies, when the levels of serotonin reduce migraines occur. Imbalance in the levels of serotonin causes anxiety and depression.
Treat Migraines Early
In this study, all the 588 participants (both males and females) experienced migraines frequently and also suffered from severe anxiety and depression.
There is a need for further research to determine why all these factors are inter-related, reveals the research team.
"These findings potentially suggest that adequate medical treatment to decrease headache frequency may reduce the risk of depression and anxiety in migraine patients," said Dr. Fu-Chi Yang, corresponding author of the study and an investigator in the Department of Neurology, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, Taiwan.
What is Migraine?
A migraine is a chronic disorder that is characterized by a headache, nausea and vomiting or sensitivity to light and sound. A migraine is three times more common in women when compared to men. It appears for the first time between 10-45 years of age.
Migraine attacks begin in the brain stem and involve nerve pathways and chemicals, which later triggers a migraine.
Diagnosis of a migraine is usually made by assessing the pattern of development of a headache, family history of a migraine and the response to analgesics taken to stop a headache.
Triggering factors can be avoided,
and preventive migraine drugs can be used, which help in reducing the frequency of attacks.
Treatment with analgesics and anti-emetics can help relieve symptoms during a migraine attack. Medications to relieve stress can also be helpful.