The Migraine-Depression Connection

Migraine sufferers are five times more likely than headache-free individuals to develop major depression.

By PT Staff, published on May 1, 2003 - last reviewed on October 16, 2007

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.