Women who suffer from severe migraines are 40 percent more likely to also suffer from depression according to a new study.
The research conducted at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston analysed data from 36,154 women who were partaking in ongoing research for a Women’s Health Study. At the start of the study none of the women reported having depression or experiencing any previous episodes of depression. 6,456 of the women had previously or were currently experiencing migraine headaches.
At a 14 year follow-up point of the study, 3,971 of the women who had reported migraines developed depression. Participants who had reported experiencing a migraine in the past were 36 percent more likely to be diagnosed as depressed compared to women who had no migraine history. Women who had experienced a migraine in the year before the follow up report were 41 percent more likely to have depression.
The research which is due to be reported at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting in April, found that the risk of developing depression was the same whether the migraines were accompanied by an ‘aura’, visual disturbances that come before 25 percent of migraines.
Acupuncture an ancient Chinese practice of placing needles into various points on the body has been examined as a treatment for migraines. It is reported that acupuncture relaxes the nervous system around central pain pathways and has been show to relieve pain and duration of migraines to a greater extent than drugs. Could acupuncture also by default relieve depression?