Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

Latest MS Research News

Migraine is comorbid with multiple sclerosis and associated with a more symptomatic MS course

View or print this bulletin in its original format.

Summary
The objectives of this study were: (1) to assess relative frequency of migraine in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients using the validated self-administered diagnostic questionnaire, and to compare the migraine rates in MS outpatients to age- and gender-matched historical population controls; (2) to compare clinical and radiographic characteristics in MS patients with migraine and headache-free MS patients. Kister I, Caminero AB, Monteith TS, Soliman A, Bacon TE, Bacon JH, Kalina JT, Inglese M, Herbert J, Lipton RB.  J Headache Pain. 2010 Jul 13. [Epub ahead of print]

Details
Researchers from the Department of Neurology, NYU-MS Care Center, NYU School of Medicine, conducted a cross-sectional study to assess the demographic profiles, headache features and clinical characteristics of MS patients attending a MS clinic using a questionnaire based on the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention (AMPP) study. The relative frequency of migraine was compared in MS clinic patients and AMPP cohort. Clinical and radiographic features in MS patients with migraine to an MS control group without headache were also compared. Among 204 MS patients, the relative frequency of migraine was threefold higher than in population controls both for women [55.7 vs. 17.1%; prevalence ratio (PR) = 3.26, p < 0.001] and men (18.4 vs. 5.6%; PR = 3.29, p < 0.001). In a series of logistic regression models that controlled for age, gender, disease duration, beta-interferon use, and depression, migraine in MS patients was significantly associated (p < 0.01) with trigeminal and occipital neuralgia, facial pain, Lhermitte's sign, temporomandibular joint pain, non-headache pain and a past history of depression. Migraine status was not significantly associated with disability on patient-derived disability steps scale or T2 lesion burden on brain MRI.

Authors conclude that , migraine is three-times more common in MS clinic patients than in general population. MS-migraine group was more symptomatic than the MS-no headache group.

National Research and Programs