Weight status can clarify the role of migraine in executive functioning

Primary tabs

Weight status can clarify the role of migraine in executive functioning

Migraine ranks as the 19th frequent cause of disability as per the World Health Organization's disability rating for a migraine. The migraine patients take twice the amount of prescription drugs and visit doctors and emergency rooms twice as frequent as those who don't have the disorder. Almost 1.7–4% of the world's adult population suffers from a headache on 15 or more days monthly. Headaches pose a worldwide issue in spite of regional differences, affecting people of all ages, races, income levels and geographical areas.

Both migraine and obesity are related to and concerned with reduced executive functioning. Still, no study has investigated whether obesity aggravates executive dysfunction in migraine. Hence, this cross-sectional study was performed to determine whether overweight/obesity moderated associations of migraine severity and concerned features with inhibitory control, one aspect of executive function.

To solve the purpose of the study, Galioto R and the researchers considered women (n = 124) aged 18-50 years old with an overweight/obesity body mass index (BMI) = 35.1 ± 6.4 kg/m2 and migraine who finished a 28-day smartphone-based headache diary. This diary had all the information about their migraine headache severity (attack frequency, pain intensity) and the frequency of related features (aura, photophobia, phonophobia, nausea). As for the interictal (headache-free) period, these women completed the computerised measures of inhibitory control.

It was found that the participants with higher migraine attack frequency responded worse on the Flanker test (accuracy and reaction time; p < .05). The correlation of BMI with the migraine attack frequency and pain intensity anticipated slower Stroop and Flanker Reaction Time (RT; p < .05).

More persistent photophobia, phonophobia, and aura were individually concerned to slower RT on the Stroop and/or Flanker tests (p < .05), and BMI moderated the relationship between the occurrence of aura and Stroop RT (p = .03).
It has thus concluded that the connection of migraine severity and presence of associated features with inhibitory control diversified by BMI in overweight/obese women with migraine. These results permit consideration of weight status in elucidating the role of migraine in executive functioning.


Int J Neurosci. 2018 Jan;128(1):63-70.

Link to the source:


Original title of article:

The role of migraine headache severity, associated features and interactions with overweight/obesity in inhibitory control


Galioto R et al.

Therapeutic, Migraine, Headache, Cross-sectional
Log in or register to post comments