University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Comorbid Migraine in Major Depressive Disorder Suggests a Subgroup Related to Bipolar Disorder

Gordon-Smith, Katherine ORCID:, Knott, Sarah, Perry, Amy ORCID:, Forty, L., Craddock, N., Jones, I. and Jones, Lisa ORCID: (2016) Comorbid Migraine in Major Depressive Disorder Suggests a Subgroup Related to Bipolar Disorder. In: 18th Annual Conference of the International Society for Bipolar Disorders & 8th Biennial Conference of the International Society for Affective Disorders, 13th - 16th July 2016, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (Unpublished)

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ISBD poster K Gordon-Smith Final 04 07 2016.pptx
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Aims: Previous small-scale studies suggest presence of migraine in major depressive disorder (MDD) is associated with specific clinical characteristics that may overlap with those of bipolar disorder. We aimed to compare a broad range of characteristics in participants who have MDD with and without migraine, and to explore possible similarities between those characteristics associated with the presence of migraine in MDD and those in bipolar disorder in a large UK sample.

Methods: Lifetime and episodic clinical characteristics and affective temperaments in DSM-IV MDD with (n=134) and without (n=218) migraine were compared. Characteristics associated with the presence of migraine were then compared with a sample of participants with DSM-IV bipolar disorder (n=407). All participants were recruited into the Bipolar Disorder Research Network (

Results: The presence of migraine in MDD was associated with female gender (76.9% vs 56.9%, p<0.001), younger age of onset (23 vs 27 years, p=0.002), history of attempted suicide (38.3% vs 22.7%, p=0.002), and more panic/agoraphobia symptomatology (6 vs 4, p<0.001). Female gender (OR=2.44, p=0.006) and younger age of onset (OR=0.97, p=0.013) remained significant in a multivariate model. These clinical characteristics were not significantly different to those of our participants with bipolar disorder.

Conclusions: The presence of migraine in MDD delineates a subgroup of individuals with a more severe illness course. The clinical presentation of this subgroup more closely resembles that of bipolar disorder than that of MDD without migraine. The presence of migraine in major depression may be a marker of a specific subgroup that could be useful in future research.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Additional Information:

The published abstract for the poster is available in the journal 'Bipolar Disorder', Volume 18, Issue SI, P-050 on p. 85.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: comorbid, migraine, major depressive disorder, Bipolar disorder
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Allied Health and Community
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Depositing User: Lisa Jones
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2016 10:40
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:13

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