Increased prevalence of depression and anxiety in patients with migraine and interictal photophobia

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Increased prevalence of depression and anxiety in patients with migraine and interictal photophobia
Key Take-Away: 

According to this study, the symptoms of depression and anxiety are more prevalent among migraine patients with interictal photophobia. Interictal photophobia could mean central sensitization due to a lengthy migraine history.

Most patients with migraine report photophobia associated with headache; a subset report interictal photophobia.

ABSTRACT: 
Background: 

Most patients with migraine report photophobia associated with headache; a subset report interictal photophobia.

These patients are light sensitive even during headache-free periods. The objective of this case–control study was to assess the prevalence of symptoms of anxiety and depression in migraine patients with and without interictal photophobia.

 

Methods: 

We recruited 16 subjects with migraine and interictal photophobia, 16 age- and gender-matched migraine subjects without interictal photophobia, and 16 age- and gender- matched controls.

Migraine subjects met International Headache Society classification criteria. Participants completed a photophobia questionnaire, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II), and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI). Chi-square analyses and two-tailed Wilcoxon rank sum tests were used for the analyses.

 

Results: 

Subjects with interictal photophobia had significantly higher scores on the photophobia questionnaire compared to subjects without interictal photophobia.

Subjects with interictal photophobia had significantly higher scores on the BDI-II and BAI compared to subjects without interictal photophobia.

 

Conclusion: 

Migraine patients with interictal photophobia are more likely to manifest symptoms of depression and anxiety compared to migraine patients without interictal photophobia.

Migraine patients with interictal photophobia are more likely to manifest symptoms of depression and anxiety compared to migraine patients without interictal photophobia. Care providers should be aware of increased prevalence of these symptoms in this population and consider appropriate referrals. Future research could assess whether treatment of photophobia leads to improvements in symptoms of depression and anxiety in migraine patients.

 

J Headache Pain 2016; 17: 34

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