Impact of Migraine Duration and Frequency on Cognitive Function

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Impact of Migraine Duration and Frequency on Cognitive Function

A recent study demonstrated the decrease in cognitive performance during migraine, and duration and frequency of migraine significantly impact cognitive dysfunction.

Migraine is a common type of primary headache disorder, characterized by moderate to severe throbbing pain with increased sensitivity or intolerance to light and sound often followed by nausea and vomiting. High incidence of migraine shows a definite link between cognitive dysfunction and migraines which present a significant public health interest.

The randomized, cross-sectional study was designed with an aim to investigate the changes in the cognitive abilities of migraine patients using a series of cognitive/behavioral and electrophysiological tests. The study group included 34 migraine patients (6 males, 28 females; mean age 36 years; range between 20 to 55 years). Control group included 24 healthy age-matched participants (6 males, 18 females; mean age 36 years; range between 22 to 58 years) without the history of headache or drug/alcohol abuse. Neuropsychological and electrophysiological evaluations were compared between migraine-affected and healthy subjects.

The results showed that migraineurs performed worse in most of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) (p = 0.007) as compared to the healthy subjects, mainly in language, memory, executive functions, calculation, and orientation. Migraineurs were found with a lower score on the memory trial of the Rey–Osterrieth complex figure test (ROCF) (p = 0.012). The P3 latency in Fz, Cz, Pz was extended in migraineurs in comparison to normal control group (P < 0.001). Significant correlations between MoCA score and the duration of migraine was also analyzed. A significant decrease in the MoCA-executive functions and calculation score and the ROCF-recall score were found to be correlated to the frequency of migraine. Migraineurs were estimated to be more anxious than healthy subjects (p = 0.001), which is independent of cognitive testing. Differences were not related to age, gender, and literacy.


J Headache Pain (2017) 18: 54.

Link to the source:

The original title of the article:

Duration and frequency of migraines affect cognitive function: evidence from neuropsychological tests and event-related potentials


Lifang Huang, Hong juan Dong, et al.

Exploratory, Migraine, Head, Randomized cross-sectional study, Montreal Cognitive Assessment, Rey–Osterrieth complex figure test
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