05/14/07 #4 - Can depression be a cause of Migraines?

Ask the Clinician Health Pro
  • Full Question:
    Just wondered if any studies have been done to determine if depression can be a cause of migraines?  I have experienced mild depression for the last 15 years during which time I also developed an increase in headaches. These were diagnosed as migraines about 8 years ago.  However, I've also gone through menopause during the last 8 years, which has not changed the frequency or severity of my headaches.
    Thanks, Marge.


    Dear Marge;

    Depression is not the cause of Migraines, nor does depression trigger Migraines. Migraine is a genetic neurological disease. Currently, the best information we have on the cause of Migraines is overactive neurons in the brains of Migraineurs. When a Migraineur encounters their physical Migraine triggers, those neurons fire in a wave across the brain, creating a chain reaction that’s responsible for the symptoms of the Migraine attack.

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    It is well established, however that Migraine and depression are often comorbid conditions. That means that people often have them both, but neither causes the other.

    Good luck,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert

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    Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert. If you have a question for this section of our site, please click HERE. Accepted questions will be answered by publishing the answers here. No questions will be answered privately.


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Published On: May 14, 2007