Women with a high burden of episodic migraine don’t appear to have any related cognitive impairment.
A small prospective study has found that women with as many as 10 migraines per month scored well within the normal range on tests of learning and memory, efficiency and attention, and processing speed, Jill Jesurum, Ph.D., reported in a poster at the annual meeting of the American Headache Society.
"This is very good news for women with migraine," said Dr. Jesurum, scientific director of the Swedish Heart and Vascular Institute at the Swedish Medical Center, Seattle. "I see migraine patients in my own clinic, and many are very worried because they feel they have some type of cognitive problems from their migraines."
She presented a subanalysis of the CAMP (Comorbidities Associated With Migraine and Patent Foramen Ovale) study. The ongoing study aims to assess cognitive impairment and other comorbidities in at least 40 patients with migraine aura and a large patent foramen ovale, compared with migraineurs who do not have the heart defect.
Dr. Jesurum’s substudy comprised 28 women with a high migraine burden. The subjects’ mean age was 35 years. They had experienced migraines for a mean 19 years, with a mean of eight migraines each month. The MIDAS (Migraine Disability Assessment Test) and HIT-6 (Headache Impact Test–6) both showed that these women experienced severe disability with their migraines, with a mean MIDAS score of 40 and a mean HIT-6 score of 64. Depression and anxiety were minimal and moderate, according to mean test scores.