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December 17, 2018

Potential Benefits of Migraine—What Is It Good For?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Child and Adolescent Headache Program, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, University of California, San Francisco
  • 2Associate Editor, JAMA Neurology
  • 3Division of Headache, Department of Neurology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Neurol. Published online December 17, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2018.3442

Migraine is a painful neurological disease that causes substantial suffering for millions of people.1,2 Most individuals with migraine develop it when they are relatively young, and the condition persists for decades.3 Although migraine often improves with age, some individuals will continue to experience well into old age.4 Disease activity is highest in the otherwise productive middle years of life,4 with the result that the economic, social, and personal costs of migraine are out of proportion to its prevalence. As if this were not enough, migraine is associated with an increased risk of serious health conditions, including stroke, myocardial infarction, preeclampsia, and affective disorders such as depression and anxiety.5-7