The following article is part of conference coverage from the 8th Joint American Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) and European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) MSVirtual2020 event. Neurology Advisor‘s staff will be reporting breaking news associated with research conducted by leading experts in neurology. .
Among patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), a history of migraine may not be associated with worse disability or neurological function, according to study results presented at the 8th Joint American Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) and European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) MSVirtual2020 event, held September 11-13, 2020.
While previous studies reported that migraine is common in patients with MS, limited data exist on the effects of migraine on disability or neurological function in this population. The objective of the current study was to investigate the association between history of migraine, disability and neurological function in patients with MS. In addition, study researchers explored the association between migraine and frequency of MS relapses, and the co-occurrence of migraine with other comorbidities in patients with MS.
This observational study included patients with MS and a documented history of migraine, who completed a neurological function assessment using the MS Performance Test. Study researchers also collected data on other comorbidities, including diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, history of myocardial infarction, sleep apnea, depression, and anxiety.
Disability was determined according to the Patient Determined Disease Steps tool. Additional outcomes included annualized relapse rate, rate of new brain lesions on MRI and objective neurological outcomes (walking speed, manual dexterity, and processing speed).
Of the 2017 patients with MS who completed the MS Performance Test, 336 had 1 documented diagnosis of migraine in their electronic medical record. Patients with MS and migraine were younger than those without migraine (mean age, 42.6 years vs 46.6 years, respectively; P <.001) and had higher rates of depression (46.52 vs. 48.16, P <.001), anxiety (50.29 vs 52.81; P <.01), and obstructive sleep apnea (109 vs 53, P <.001).
Severe disability was less frequent in patients with migraine compared to those without (5.4% vs 12%, respectively; P <.003), and there was no difference in objective neurological outcomes, including walking speed, manual dexterity or processing speed. Furthermore, there was no significant difference in annualized relapse rate or rate of new brain lesions in patients with MS with and without migraine.
Researchers concluded that “a history of migraine was not associated with greater disability” in patients with MS, but added that the “evidence to date on this topic is conflicting and warrants future longitudinal studies.”.
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Damian A, Hu C, Fitzgerald K, Mowry E. A history of migraine headache may not be associated with worse disability or worse neurological function. Presented at: 8th Joint American Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis and European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis MSVirtual2020 event; September 11-13, 2020. Abstract P0423.