Migraine symptomatology and major depressive disorder

R.S.L. Ligthart, B.W.J.H. Penninx, D.R. Nijholt, M.A. Distel, E.J.C. de Geus, G. Willemsen, J.H. Smit, D.I. Boomsma

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction and objective: Migraine and major depressive disorder (MDD) frequently co-occur, but it is unclear whether depression is associated with a specific subtype of migraine. The objective of this study was to investigate whether migraine is qualitatively different in MDD patients (N = 1816) and non-depressed controls (N = 3428). Methods: Migraine symptom data were analyzed using multi-group Latent Class Analysis, and a qualitative comparison was made between the symptom profiles of MDD patients and controls, while allowing for differences in migraine prevalence and severity between groups. Results: In both groups, three migrainous headache classes were identified, which differed primarily in terms of severity. Both mild and severe migrainous headaches were two to three times more prevalent in MDD patients. Migraine symptom profiles showed only minor qualitative differences in the MDD and non-MDD groups: in the severe migrainous headache class, significant differences were observed only in the prevalence of aggravation by physical activity (83% and 91% for the non-MDD and MDD groups, respectively) and aura (42% vs. 53%, respectively). Conclusion: The similar overall symptom profiles observed in the MDD and non-MDD subjects suggest that a similar disease process may underlie migraine in both groups. © International Headache Society 2010.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1073-1081
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Cohort Studies

  • Netherlands Twin Register (NTR)

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