Migraine sufferers at risk of depression

Women who suffer migraines may be at a heightened risk of depression, new research has found. To be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 64th Annual Meeting in New Orleans, the study suggested females who have experienced these headaches in the past may be more prone to depressive episodes.

According to the investigation, 3,971 of the 6,456 women who had current or past migraine issues developed depression during an average 14 years of follow-up.

It was calculated that individuals with a history of such head pains were around 40 per cent more likely to suffer from the condition than those without.

Tobias Kurth of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston - which was formed in 1980 - and a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, said: "We hope our findings will encourage doctors to speak to their migraine patients about the risk of depression and potential ways to prevent depression."

Dr Hugh Koch, Chartered Psychologist, commented: "Migraine sufferers experience significant problems with everyday coping due to the debilitating effects of their headaches which can be either predictable - brought on by stress, certain foodstuffs, alcohol or fatigue - or unpredictable, which has major effects on socialising and individual sufferers' self esteem.

"If this research helps to highlight the possible post migraine depressive effect and encourage the use or social prescribing of cbt type help for this group then this is to be welcomed."