The Migraine-Depression Connection

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Throbbing migraine headaches and major depression may be related. In fact, having one may increase the occurrence of the other.

Migraine sufferers were five times more likely than headache-free individuals to develop major depression in a study conducted by the Henry Ford Health System. Those who started the study with depression were three times more likely to develop migraines.

Study author Naomi Breslau and colleagues also found that a person with major depression was more at risk of suffering a first-time migraine than non-depressed individuals. And people who live with migraines seem to be more at risk for an initial bout of depression.

Breslau interviewed 496 adults who had a history of migraines, 151 people with severe headaches and 539 people without headache problems. The study followed them for two years.

The authors conclude that both disorders are biologically linked, possibly with brain chemicals or hormones. They suggest that treatment for one should look for the presence of the other.

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