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Papers of the Week

Papers: 24 Feb 2024 - 1 Mar 2024

2024 Jan 30





Understanding the Biological Relationship between Migraine and Depression.


Viudez-Martínez A, Torregrosa AB, Navarrete F, García-Gutiérrez MS


Migraine is a highly prevalent neurological disorder. Among the risk factors identified, psychiatric comorbidities, such as depression, seem to play an important role in its onset and clinical course. Patients with migraine are 2.5 times more likely to develop a depressive disorder; this risk becomes even higher in patients suffering from chronic migraine or migraine with aura. This relationship is bidirectional, since depression also predicts an earlier/worse onset of migraine, increasing the risk of migraine chronicity and, consequently, requiring a higher healthcare expenditure compared to migraine alone. All these data suggest that migraine and depression may share overlapping biological mechanisms. Herein, this review explores this topic in further detail: firstly, by introducing the common epidemiological and risk factors for this comorbidity; secondly, by focusing on providing the cumulative evidence of common biological aspects, with a particular emphasis on the serotoninergic system, neuropeptides such as calcitonin-gene-related peptide (CGRP), pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP), substance P, neuropeptide Y and orexins, sexual hormones, and the immune system; lastly, by remarking on the future challenges required to elucidate the etiopathological mechanisms of migraine and depression and providing updated information regarding new key targets for the pharmacological treatment of these clinical entities.