Migraines May Be Linked to Depression, Study Says

migrainesThose who experience migraines may have a higher risk of developing clinical depression, a new study released by the journal Headache suggests.

The study also implies that those with clinical depression may have a higher risk of developing migraines. This finding may be due to chance, researchers told Reuters Health.

The potential link between depression and migraines may be useful to those who experience either condition, as one may be indicative of the other, said Geeta Modgill, lead author of the study, in an interview with Reuters Health.

The study surveyed over 15,000 people over twelve years (from 1994 to 2007). Those who experienced migraines at the beginning of the study (about 22%) were 80% more likely to develop depression than those who didn’t experience migraines (about 14%). People with depression were 40% more likely to develop migraines than their non-depressed counterparts, according to Reuters, but the relationship weakened when stress and childhood trauma were considered.

According to The Mayo Clinic’s website, migraines are often characterized by a throbbing or pulsing pain in one area of the head, “nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.” The causes of migraines are not wholly understood, but experts believe that they are caused by a variety of genetic and environmental factors. Triggers may include a change in diet, stress, changes in sleeping patterns, bright lights, and medication.

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