Depression, migraine with aura and migraine without aura: their familiality and interrelatedness

H Ball, Z Samaan, S Brewster, N Craddock, M Gill, A Korszun, W Maier, L Middleton, O Mors, M Owen, J Perry, M Preisig, J Rice, M Rietschel, Lisa Jones, I Jones, A Farmer, P McGuffin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Migraine is frequently comorbid with depression. There appear to be common aetiological factors for both disorders, but the aetiology of migraine within depressed patients, in particular the significance of aura, has been little studied. A large sample of concordantly depressed sibling pairs [the Depression-Network (DeNT) sample] was assessed as having migraine with aura (MA), migraine without aura (MoA), probable migraine or no migraine according to International Headache Society guidelines. Correlations between siblings' migraine status were used to assess the nature of familial liability to migraine. A multiple threshold isocorrelational model fit best, in which different syndromes are conceptualized as different severities of one underlying dimension rather than as having separate aetiologies. Thus, MA and MoA were found to be different forms of the same disorder, with MA occupying the more extreme end of the spectrum of liability. Implications for our understanding of the relationship between migraine and depression are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)848-854
    Number of pages7
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2009


    • genetics
    • comorbidity
    • depression
    • Migraine disorders


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