The impact of interferon beta and natalizumab on comorbid migraine in multiple sclerosis

Veronica Villani, Luca Prosperini, Laura De Giglio, Carlo Pozzilli, Marco Salvetti, Giuliano Sette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background.-Some multiple sclerosis (MS)-specific therapies may exacerbate a comorbid migraine. Whereas data regarding the impact of interferon beta (IFNB) on this comorbidity have been reported, studies on the role of natalizumab (NTZ) are still lacking. Purpose.-Our aim was to compare the impact of IFNB and NTZ on the frequency and disability of comorbid migraine in MS patients. Methods.-We performed a longitudinal evaluation on MS patients with comorbid migraine previously assessed at our center and retested for the present study, by comparing data from 33 patients originally treated with IFNB and thereafter switched to NTZ vs 30 patients continued currently to receive IFNB. Results.-Longitudinal analysis showed a significant reduction of migraine frequency (from a mean value of 8.4 to 5.1 days per month; P =.034) and Migraine Disability Assessment Scale (MIDAS) score (from a mean value of 14.2 to 10.5; P =.045) in the subgroup patients switched from IFNB to NTZ but not in those remaining in the IFNB recipient, irrespective of level of fatigue, trait anxiety, depression, alexithymia, or other clinical variables. Conclusions.-Our findings suggest that NTZ did not exacerbate comorbid migraine in MS patients and support the hypothesis that IFNB might represent an important trigger for migraine worsening.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1130-1135
Number of pages6
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


  • comorbidity
  • disability
  • interferon beta
  • migraine
  • multiple sclerosis
  • natalizumab

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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