Relation to Migraine in Synesthetes and Nonsynesthetes
Synesthesia is a neurological condition in which people involuntarily link one sensory precept to another, such as color, shape, sound, smell and taste, bind together in unusual ways, giving rise to atypical experiences, mental images or thoughts, research proves such people experience reality differently.
The immune hypothesis of synesthesia links synesthesia to immune-related conditions such as migraine. More specifically, migraine with aura may be linked to grapheme-color synesthesia as both involve cortical hyper-excitability.
In the current study, researchers investigated whether the prevalence of migraine is greater in people who experience synesthesia. For this, 161 female synesthetes, and 92 female nonsynesthetes were recruited and they completed an online questionnaire about synesthesia and migraine. They found that there were no associations between migraine and synesthesia, nor between migraine with aura and grapheme-color synesthesia.
However, exploratory analysis revealed that various synesthetic stimulus e.g. non-linguistic visual experiences, scent, taste, emotion and personality were linked with visual disturbances in headache among women and touch was associated with migraine with aura.
On the basis of this analysis, study tells that specific sub-types of synesthetes are associated with migraine. Further clear picture can be obtained with research about the relationship between these two conditions and underlying causes of synesthesia and migraine progresses.