Impact of comorbid migraine on the clinical course of bipolar disorder Academic Article uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Recent evidence suggests an association between migraine and bipolar disorder (BD), although the impact of this association in the clinical course of BD is relatively unknown. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to compare 2 groups of individuals with BD (with vs without comorbid migraine) and evaluate differences in severity of clinical course. METHODS: Three hundred thirty-nine adults with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition-defined bipolar I or II disorder were enrolled and divided into 2 groups: with and without comorbid migraine. Demographic and clinical data were obtained using standardized interviews. RESULTS: Patients with comorbid migraines had more mood episodes, especially those with depressive polarity. In addition, comorbid migraine was associated with a higher prevalence of psychiatric and general medical comorbidities. Differences between the 2 groups in number of lifetime hospitalizations for depression/mania, rates of rapid cycling, and history of suicide attempts were not observed after Bonferroni correction. CONCLUSIONS: Comorbid migraine seems to be associated with poor outcomes in BD. Additional studies should be conducted to investigate shared vulnerabilities and pathophysiologic mechanisms as well as treatment optimization of both illnesses.


  • Brietzke, Elisa
  • Moreira, Camila Luzia Roganti Leite
  • Duarte, Stephanie Vendramini Bianco
  • Nery, Fabiano Gonçalves
  • Kapczinski, Flavio
  • Miranda Scippa, Ângela
  • Lafer, Beny

publication date

  • August 2012