Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Good news for chronic migraine

This study looked at family history of vascular risks in migraineurs. Vascular risk factors tend to run in families, but are not easily measurable in younger migraineurs. Looking at older family members makes the risks easier to measure, and gives more accurate results (larger experimental sample). I find the following result particluarly interesting:

[Chronic migraine] patients were more likely to have a negative [family history] of stroke compared to other headache types, suggesting that [chronic migraine] is likely a neuronal disease rather than a vascular one.
This result is not unexpected. If continuous chronic migraine were caused by symptomatic vascular problems, we would expect a spectacular increase in vascular adverse events. (Like how a person with daily heart pain is living on borrowed time.)

Unfortunately, this study only compared different types of migraine to each other, so it does not tell us the absolute vascular risk caused by migraine. Researchers: always use a normal control arm! For only a little higher cost, you can give your study meaningful results.

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