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Migraine aura without headache compared to migraine with aura in patients with affective disorders


The characteristics of psychiatric comorbidity in migraine have been studied in migraine with aura (MA) and migraine without aura (MO). Little information is available concerning patients with migraine aura without headache. In a study of 201 patients with major affective disorders (DSM–IV) we have described the clinical characteristics of patients with these three sub–types of migraine (IHS criteria) and compared the MA and migraine aura without headache groups. Compared to patients having MA (n=57), the group with migraine aura without headache (n=18) had a higher age of onset of migraine (28.5 vs. 19.2, p=0.001), significantly lower prevalences of affective temperaments (28% vs. 56%, p=0.036), suicide attempts (17% vs. 53%, p=0.013) and Raynaud’s syndrome (0% vs. 25%, p=0.017). These results indicate that there seem to be differences in the clinical characteristics found in patients with migraine with aura when compared to those having the migraine subtype without a headache phase. This may convey new information concerning the comorbid expression of migraine and affective disorders or concerning the processes that differentiates the migraine types with and without a subsequent pain attack.

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Correspondence to K. J. Oedegaard.

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Open Access This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License ( ), which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

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Oedegaard, K.J., Angst, J., Neckelmann, D. et al. Migraine aura without headache compared to migraine with aura in patients with affective disorders. J Headache Pain 6, 378–386 (2005).

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Key words

  • Affective disorders
  • Affective temperaments
  • Migraine
  • Suicide attempt
  • Raynaud's syndrome