Will New Migraine Classifications Mean Better Treatment?


People with migraine can be classified into eight subgroups based on whether they have one or more additional health problems (called comorbidities), which offer clues about headache causes and may lead to more individualized migraine treatment. That was the conclusion of researchers presenting at the 60th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society in San Francisco.

Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York used data from Chronic Migraine Epidemiology and Outcomes (CaMEO), an online survey including information about migraine symptoms, treatment, and quality of life from nearly 13,000 Americans living with migraine. They excluded people with migraine who reported no comorbidities and used a statistical method to identify subgroups of migraine patients with shared features as follows:

  • Class 1: high on many comorbidities
  • Class 2: highest on respiratory and psychiatric symptoms
  • Class 3: highest on respiratory and pain symptoms
  • Class 4: highest on respiratory comorbidities
  • Class 5: highest on psychiatric comorbidities
  • Class 6: highest on cardiovascular comorbidities
  • Class 7: highest on joint pain
  • Class 8: low on comorbidities

Further analysis involving each migraine subgroup revealed several characteristics and a distinct, varied profile, which may lead to development of more effective treatments.

Sourced from: American Headache Society