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Memory functions in patients with chronic daily headache


Memory loss is a common complaint in headache sufferers. 71 patients, 50 women and 21 men, affected by chronic daily headache with different diagnoses at onset and at study entry underwent a test battery in order to evaluate both short- and long-term memory according to the different sensorial pathway of data acquirement. Statistical analysis of the results was performed using means of Spearman's correlation coefficients, analysis of variance, chi-square, Fisher's test and Mann-Whitney U test. A percentage of patients, ranging from 2% to 56%, according to the different tests, showed a worse performance than normal subjects. The percentage of the subjects with memory difficulty was higher in women and in patients with migraine-type headache at onset, but was not different between overusers and nonoverusers of analgesics, nor among the different forms of present headache. A complex neurotransmitter disorder might account for impairment of both short- and long-term memory in headache patients.

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Savarese, M., Prudenzano, M., Francavilla, T. et al. Memory functions in patients with chronic daily headache. J Headache Pain 1, S39–S44 (2000).

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  • Key words Memory disorders
  • Short-term memory
  • Long-term memory
  • Verbal memory
  • Visuospatial memory
  • Chronic daily headache
  • Drug overuse
  • Serotonin
  • Glutamate


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