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Papers of the Week

Papers: 23 Mar 2024 - 29 Mar 2024

2024 Mar 24

Sci Rep




Theory of mind in chronic migraine with medication overuse assessed with the MASC.


Bottiroli S, Rosi A, Lecce S, Sances G, Allena M, De Icco R, Vecchi T, Tassorelli C, Cavallini E


Theory of Mind (ToM) is the ability to infer one’s own and others’ mental states. Growing research indicates that ToM is impaired in Chronic Migraine with Medication Overuse (CM + MO). However, the research in this field has been conducted using static scenario-based tasks, often failing to test mentalization in everyday situations and measuring only performance accuracy. We filled this gap by administering the Movie for the Assessment of Social Cognition (MASC) to subjects with CM + MO compared to episodic migraine (EM). This test allows us to assess both affective and cognitive ToM and which, in addition to being accurate, also analyzes the type of error in attribution of mental states, distinguishing between hypo-mentalization and hyper-mentalization. Thirty patients suffering from CM + MO and 42 from EM were enrolled. Results showed that CM + MO patients were less accurate in mental state attribution than EM. In addition, compared to EM, CM + MO individuals were more impaired in the affective ToM dimensions and committed more errors of hypo-mentalization. In conclusion, the application of MASC in patients with CM + MO allowed for the detection of an alteration in their ability to correctly draw conclusions about other people’s mental states. This latter contributes critically to appropriate social reactions and also, possibly, to satisfactory social interactions.