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Migraine causes depression risk

india Updated: Jan 12, 2007 16:11 IST

According to a study, women with chronic headache, especially migraines are more susceptible to feel tired, depressed and have a host of other severe physical symptoms.

The study found women with chronic headache were four times more likely than hose with episodic headache to report symptoms of major depression. 

Chronic headache sufferers were also three times more likely to report a high degree of symptoms related to headache, such as low energy, trouble sleeping, nausea, dizziness, pain or problems during intercourse, and pain in the stomach, back, arms, legs, and joints. 

“Painful physical symptoms may provoke or be a manifestation of major depression in women with chronic headache, and depression may heighten pain perception," said study author Gretchen Tietjen, MD with the University of Toledo-Health Science Campus and a member of the American Academy of Neurology.

"This relation between migraine and major depression suggests a common neurobiology," he added.

Tietjen says studies are in progress to test whether severe headache, severe physical symptoms and major depression may be linked through dysfunction of serotonin in the central nervous system.

"Regardless of what's causing the link between migraine and depression, psychiatric disease such as depression complicates headache management and can lead to poorer outcomes for headache management,” he said. 

The study is published in the January 9, 2007, issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.