The data support previous findings suggesting this debilitating condition is more common in MS patients than in the general population. Further research is needed, however, to better understand the association between MS and migraine.
The review study, “The prevalence of migraine in multiple sclerosis (MS): A systematic review and meta-analysis,” was published in the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience.
Migraine is a common, chronic debilitating condition characterized by severe pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on one side of the head, that can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Attacks can last for hours to days and impair activities during that time.
Migraines have been estimated to be two to three times more common in MS patients than in the general population. Notably, both migraine and MS are more frequent among women, younger people, and Caucasians (as compared with African or Asians).
While previous studies suggested that migraine may precede MS, increasing research points to a link between migraine in MS and interferon-beta treatment (such as Avonex, Rebif, and Betaseron), since it was found to worsen or trigger headaches, including migraines, in these patients.
Still, the underlying mechanisms of a potential association between MS and migraines remain largely unclear.
Now, researchers in Iran set out to estimate, for the first time, the general frequency of migraine in people with MS by systematically analyzing full studies and conference abstracts reporting prevalence in this patient population up to December 2019.
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