Women With Migraines at Higher Risk for Depression
24 Feb, 2012 - 11:53am
In a recently-concluded study which will be presented at the 64th annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology this April, women who have suffered and are still suffering from migraine headaches may just be at a higher risk for depression.
The study was primarily designed to gauge the effects of aspirin and vitamin E as aids in the prevention cancer and cardiovascular diseases in over 36,000 women. In every six women, one was said to have experienced or are currently experiencing migraines. Of these women, none of them had ever experienced, or had any history of depression, but later on developed the condition.
One of the doctors who spearheaded the study, Brigham and Women’s Hospital neuro-epidemiologist Dr. Tobias Kurth said that publishing the study was not to alarm patients, as suffering from migraines is bad enough, but rather stresses the need to explore the possible risks of compounding their condition by developing depression.
John’s Hopkins assistant professor of neurology Dr. Jason Rosenberg, who did not participate in the research, said that Kurth’s study may open doors and determine which of the two conditions are developed first—whether the migraines create a certain predisposition to depression at a later time.
Kurth said that while there is no way quantitatively measure any direct correlation to the two conditions, he theorized that since both conditions are related to brain functions, then the neurotransmitters that are in play with one condition can also be tied in with the other. Another theory, he said, is that developing depression may be the end result of migraines having and adverse effect a person’s happiness and mental well-being.
Rosenburg concurred, saying that having both conditions at any given time does not effectively guarantee a link between them, but it is a question that needs to be explored. Similarly, another thing that is worth looking into he said, was if the degree and the frequency of migraine attacks correlate with the degree of depression ,something that Kurth and his colleagues will be exploring.
While Kurth and his team have more research to do conduct, at best, what they have come up with so far, he said, will at least serve to put both patients and health care practitioners on point regarding the possible correlation between both conditions.