Depression Increases Risk of Episodic Migraine Progression to Chronic Migraine

The co-occurrence of depression and chronic migraine is well known. And, after all, it would not be unusual to be depressed if you had a headache more days than not.

However, a recent study performed by Dr. Sait Ashina and colleagues at Albert Enstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York, has found that in people with episodic migraine (meaning fewer than 15 headache days a month), the presence of depression had a higher risk of developing chronic migraine. The risk of doing so also correlated with the severity of depression. Migraine sufferers with moderate or severe depression were more likely to transition to chronic migraine than those with mild or no depression. The reason for this association is not yet clear.

It is not yet known whether treatment of depression can prevent this transformation to chronic migraine.