Psychiatric screening for migraine patients

O. Gambini, B. Biagianti, L. Grazzi, S. Usai, S. Scarone, G. Bussone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Psychiatric disorders in migraine patients have a higher prevalence than general population. The presence of psychiatric comorbidities may influence the complexity of the migraine pictures and be related to medication overuse. Severely impaired chronic migraineurs presenting with medication overuse are a challenge for headache clinics. Psychiatric comorbities, such as dependency-like behaviors, anxiety and mood symptoms, might account for headache-related disability and recurrent relapses into medication overuse after a successful detoxification. Within a sample of 63 chronic migraineurs with medication overuse and severe disability, we investigated to which extent clinical severity, affective states and attitudes about medication impact the overall functioning at time of detoxification. To unravel whether some of these factors could predict their long-term outcome, we followed and retest them 1 year after with drawal. We hypothesized that the detoxification would have led to a partial improvement and not modified the attitudes toward medication and dependence. Detoxification improves most of the clinical and affective measures, but does not free from significant levels of pain intensity and headache-related disability. The partial benefit from detoxification, the severity bias and the maladaptive cognitive profile led us to believe that subgroups of chronic-relapsing migraineurs deserve a multidisciplinary approach that addresses not only the reduction of clinical severity but also specific cognitive and behavioral impairments.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeurological Sciences
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Medication overuse
  • Migraine
  • Psychiatric comorbidities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Dermatology
  • Medicine(all)


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