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Link Between Migraine Attacks in Teens and Suicidal Tendencies

Those of you budding youth, who suffer migraine attacks, beware. Recent research has shown the propensity of teen migraine sufferers to be prone// to depression and suicidal tendencies. They could also be suffering other psychiatric ailments like panic disorder or depression.

Teens suffering migraines are prone to depressive tendencies bordering on suicide, compared to those who don’t suffer such agonizing headaches, a new study has shown.

Explaining the importance of timely diagnosis, study author Shuu-Jiun Wang, MD, of the Taipei Veterans General Hospital and National Yang-Ming University School of Medicine in Taseipei, Taiwan said, “Teens with chronic daily headache should be screened for psychiatric disorders so they can get the treatment and help they need.”

During a survey of 7,900 Taiwanese middle school students in the age group of 12 to 14, nearly 121 of them had chronic daily headaches. Headaches that occur for 15 or more days per month for two or more hours per days, lasting for more than three months is defined as chronic headache.

The subjects were also screened for psychiatric disorders. The finding revealed that almost half of the people suffering chronic daily headaches suffered one or more psychiatric disorders. Nearly 21% suffered major depression and 19% were suffering panic disorder. 20% portrayed a high risk of suicide.

Researchers said, the teens with migraine headaches were 3.5 times more likely to have a psychiatric disorder than those who do not suffer migraine. And teens whose migraines came with a warning sensation carried a pronounced risk of suffering psychiatric disorders, and six times prone to the risk of suicide. Researchers are not very clear about the link between headache and depression, though it is pretty clear that serotonin levels in the brain have a bearing upon mental health.

The study is published in the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neuro logy.
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