Vol 57, No 6 (2023)
Review Article
Published online: 2023-12-01

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Is there a correlation between migraine and eating disorders? A systematic literature review

Beata Łangowska-Grodzka1, Olga Grodzka2, Damian Czarnecki1, Izabela Domitrz2
Pubmed: 38037683
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2023;57(6):457-464.


Introduction. Migraine is a common primary headache disorder, which affects mainly young females, usually those with some specific personality traits including neuroticism and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Among many factors that may trigger headache are to be found those associated with eating patterns and behaviours. Eating disorders are psychiatric disorders of abnormal eating or weight-control behaviours. According to the most up-to-date classification, six main types are identified, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. Similar to migraine, eating disorders are mainly diagnosed in young adults and, moreover, personality pattern, in at least some of the eating disorders, is also suggested to be consistent.

Material and methods. This systematic review aimed to summarise the available literature related to this topic. We performed an electronic article search through the Embase, PubMed, and Cochrane databases and included 16 articles into analysis in accordance with PRISMA 2020 guidelines.

Results. Most of the studies revealed the presence of a putative correlation between migraine and eating disorders, and these encourage further investigations. Moreover, apart from the clinical aspect, also the pathogenesis underlying both disorders is suggested to be similar. More frequent co-occurrence of other psychiatric disorders in migraineurs, such as depression and anxiety, was reported and should be considered in future research. Furthermore, adverse interactions between pharmacotherapy and symptoms of comorbid conditions underline the importance of this problem.

Conclusions. A correlation between migraine and eating disorders appears highly probable. However, further investigations are required focusing on diverse aspects such as clinical, psychological, and pathogenic.

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