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Patients with migraine have balance impairment

Patients with migraine have balance impairment, which is associated with fear of falls, dizziness disability, and kinesiophobia, according to a study published online May 20 in Headache.

Gabriela F. Carvalho, P.T., Ph.D., from the Ribeirão Preto Medical School at the University of São Paulo in Brazil, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study involving patients with a diagnosis of episodic migraine with aura (MWA), without aura (MWoA), and chronic migraine (CM) (30 per group), and 30 headache-free controls. Participants underwent evaluation including the Sensory Organization Test (SOT) to assess balance impairment, and otoneurological examination, and completed questionnaires about fear of falls, dizziness disability, and kinesiophobia.

The researchers found that all migraine groups had lower composite SOT scores than controls. MWA and CM groups exhibited greater vestibular and visual functional impairment compared with controls and MWoA. During the assessment, fall events were documented more often among patients with migraine. Correlations were seen for SOT scores with fear of falls, dizziness disability, kinesiophobia, and migraine frequency. When used as a covariate in the analysis, vestibular migraine diagnosis had no significant influence on study outcomes.

“These results point toward a need for a more tailored rehabilitation to restore the sensory systems responsible for postural control in patients with migraine, especially when aura or a high frequency of attacks are reported,” the authors write.


Patients with migraine with aura have impaired postural responses


More information:
Gabriela F. Carvalho et al, Migraine and balance impairment: Influence of subdiagnosis, otoneurological function, falls, and psychosocial factors, Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain (2022). DOI: 10.1111/head.14309

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Patients with migraine have balance impairment (2022, July 1)
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