Stress not a significant factor in migraine attacks, study finds

New findings from a digital study have challenged the belief that stress is a significant factor in triggering migraine attacks.

Results came from a study by the digital health firm Curelator and the University of Calgary, who found that only 7.1% of patients had a majority of their attacks associated with increased levels of perceived stress.

At the same time 76% of the total number of migraine attacks were associated with either flat or decreasing levels of perceived stress.

Most individuals, 61.5%, had more than 50% of their attacks preceded by flat stress levels. Only 3.4% of people had half of their attacks following decreasing levels of stress.

The remaining portion of individuals, 28%, had a variable mixture of increasing, flat and/or decreasing levels of stress preceding their attacks.

Researchers said that the study is unique in that it examines individual patterns rather than aggregate ones.

Involving 351 participants and lasting for three months, this was the largest and longest study to investigate the relationship between perceived stress and migraine.

During the course of the study, participants had a total of 2,115 migraine attacks, each of which were analysed with respect to individual persons’ daily stress levels before, during and after the attack.

In comparison to traditional clinical studies, this one specifically examined individual patterns, not just aggregate patterns, in relation to how perceived stress changes in relation to the onset of pain of migraine attacks.

Results showed a high amount of variability between individuals and even within the same person.

Individualised digital data capture and analytics were enabled by Curelator’s digital technology that combines a simple smartphone data entry process with personalised analytics.

After 90 days of data entry, the app creates a trigger, protector and “no association” map for each use within a personalised report.

This information enables patients and clinicians to generate individual profiles to manage risk factors and therapeutic response to drugs and monitor potential medication overuse.

Don't miss your daily pharmaphorum news.
SUBSCRIBE free here.