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2.  Chronic migraine classification: current knowledge and future perspectives 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2011;12(6):585-592.
In the field of so-called chronic daily headache, it is not easy for migraine that worsens progressively until it becomes daily or almost daily to find a precise and universally recognized place within the current international headache classification systems. In line with the 2006 revision of the second edition of the International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD-2R), the current prevailing opinion is that this headache type should be named chronic migraine (CM) and be characterized by the presence of at least 15 days of headache per month for at least 3 consecutive months, with headache having the same clinical features of migraine without aura for at least 8 of those 15 days. Based on much evidence, though, a CM with the above characteristics appears to be a heterogeneous entity and the obvious risk is that its definition may be extended to include a variety of different clinical entities. A proposal is advanced to consider CM a subtype of migraine without aura that is characterized by a high frequency of attacks (10–20 days of headache per month for at least 3 months) and is distinct from transformed migraine (TM), which in turn should be included in the classification as a complication of migraine. Therefore, CM should be removed from its current coding position in the ICHD-2 and be replaced by TM, which has more restrictive diagnostic criteria (at least 20 days of headache per month for at least 1 year, with no more than 5 consecutive days free of symptoms; same clinical features of migraine without aura for at least 10 of those 20 days).
doi:10.1007/s10194-011-0393-6
PMCID: PMC3208036  PMID: 22028184
Chronic migraine; Transformed migraine; Chronic daily headache; Chronic headache; Headache; Migraine
3.  Chronic migraine classification: current knowledge and future perspectives 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2011;12(6):585-592.
In the field of so-called chronic daily headache, it is not easy for migraine that worsens progressively until it becomes daily or almost daily to find a precise and universally recognized place within the current international headache classification systems. In line with the 2006 revision of the second edition of the International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD-2R), the current prevailing opinion is that this headache type should be named chronic migraine (CM) and be characterized by the presence of at least 15 days of headache per month for at least 3 consecutive months, with headache having the same clinical features of migraine without aura for at least 8 of those 15 days. Based on much evidence, though, a CM with the above characteristics appears to be a heterogeneous entity and the obvious risk is that its definition may be extended to include a variety of different clinical entities. A proposal is advanced to consider CM a subtype of migraine without aura that is characterized by a high frequency of attacks (10–20 days of headache per month for at least 3 months) and is distinct from transformed migraine (TM), which in turn should be included in the classification as a complication of migraine. Therefore, CM should be removed from its current coding position in the ICHD-2 and be replaced by TM, which has more restrictive diagnostic criteria (at least 20 days of headache per month for at least 1 year, with no more than 5 consecutive days free of symptoms; same clinical features of migraine without aura for at least 10 of those 20 days).
doi:10.1007/s10194-011-0393-6
PMCID: PMC3208036  PMID: 22028184
Chronic migraine; Transformed migraine; Chronic daily headache; Chronic headache; Headache; Migraine
4.  Almotriptan 12.5 mg in menstrually related migraine: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study 
Cephalalgia  2011;31(2):144-151.
Background: Menstrually related migraine (MRM) affects more than half of female migraineurs. Because such migraines are often predictable, they provide a suitable target for treatment in the mild pain phase. The present study was designed to provide prospective data on the efficacy of almotriptan for treatment of MRM.
Methods: Premenopausal women with MRM were randomized to almotriptan (N = 74) or placebo (N = 73), taken at onset of the first perimenstrual migraine. Patients crossed over to the other treatment for the first perimenstrual migraine of their second cycle, followed by a two-month open-label almotriptan treatment period.
Results: Significantly more patients were pain-free at two hours (risk ratio [RR] = 1.81; p = .0008), pain-free from 2–24 hours with no rescue medication (RR = 1.99; p = .0022), and pain-free from 2–24 hours with no rescue medication or adverse events (RR = 1.94; p = .0061) with almotriptan versus placebo. Nausea (p = .0007) and photophobia (p = .0083) at two hours were significantly less frequent with almotriptan. Almotriptan efficacy was consistent between three attacks, with 56.2% of patients pain-free at two hours at least twice. Adverse events were similar with almotriptan and placebo.
Conclusion: Almotriptan was significantly more effective than placebo in women with MRM attacks, with consistent efficacy in longer-term follow-up.
doi:10.1177/0333102410378048
PMCID: PMC3057443  PMID: 20660540
Almotriptan; headache; menstrually related migraine; placebo; randomized controlled trial
5.  Migraine and psychiatric comorbidity: a review of clinical findings 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2011;12(2):115-125.
Migraine is an extremely common disorder. The underlying mechanisms of this chronic illness interspersed with acute symptoms appear to be increasingly complex. An important aspect of migraine heterogeneity is comorbidity with other neurological diseases, cardiovascular disorders, and psychiatric illnesses. Depressive disorders are among the leading causes of disability worldwide according to WHO estimation. In this review, we have mainly considered the findings from general population studies and studies on clinical samples, in adults and children, focusing on the association between migraine and psychiatric disorders (axis I of the DSM), carried over after the first classification of IHS (1988). Though not easily comparable due to differences in methodology to reach diagnosis, general population studies generally indicate an increased risk of affective and anxiety disorders in patients with migraine, compared to non-migrainous subjects. There would also be a trend towards an association of migraine with bipolar disorder, but not with substance abuse/dependence. With respect to migraine subtypes, comorbidity mainly involves migraine with aura. Patients suffering from migraine, however, show a decreased risk of developing affective and anxiety disorders compared to patients with daily chronic headache. It would also appear that psychiatric disorders prevail in patients with chronic headache and substance use than in patients with simple migraine. The mechanisms underlying migraine psychiatric comorbidity are presently poorly understood, but this topic remains a priority for future research. Psychiatric comorbidity indeed affects migraine evolution, may lead to chronic substance use, and may change treatment strategies, eventually modifying the outcome of this important disorder.
doi:10.1007/s10194-010-0282-4
PMCID: PMC3072482  PMID: 21210177
Migraine; Comorbidity; Psychiatric disorders; Depression; Meta-analysis
6.  Migraine and psychiatric comorbidity: a review of clinical findings 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2011;12(2):115-125.
Migraine is an extremely common disorder. The underlying mechanisms of this chronic illness interspersed with acute symptoms appear to be increasingly complex. An important aspect of migraine heterogeneity is comorbidity with other neurological diseases, cardiovascular disorders, and psychiatric illnesses. Depressive disorders are among the leading causes of disability worldwide according to WHO estimation. In this review, we have mainly considered the findings from general population studies and studies on clinical samples, in adults and children, focusing on the association between migraine and psychiatric disorders (axis I of the DSM), carried over after the first classification of IHS (1988). Though not easily comparable due to differences in methodology to reach diagnosis, general population studies generally indicate an increased risk of affective and anxiety disorders in patients with migraine, compared to non-migrainous subjects. There would also be a trend towards an association of migraine with bipolar disorder, but not with substance abuse/dependence. With respect to migraine subtypes, comorbidity mainly involves migraine with aura. Patients suffering from migraine, however, show a decreased risk of developing affective and anxiety disorders compared to patients with daily chronic headache. It would also appear that psychiatric disorders prevail in patients with chronic headache and substance use than in patients with simple migraine. The mechanisms underlying migraine psychiatric comorbidity are presently poorly understood, but this topic remains a priority for future research. Psychiatric comorbidity indeed affects migraine evolution, may lead to chronic substance use, and may change treatment strategies, eventually modifying the outcome of this important disorder.
doi:10.1007/s10194-010-0282-4
PMCID: PMC3072482  PMID: 21210177
Migraine; Comorbidity; Psychiatric disorders; Depression; Meta-analysis
7.  Evolution of migraine-associated symptoms in menstrually related migraine following symptomatic treatment with almotriptan 
Neurological Sciences  2010;31(Suppl 1):115-119.
In addition to headache, migraine is characterized by a series of symptoms that negatively affects the quality of life of patients. Generally, these are represented by nausea, vomiting, photophobia, phonophobia and osmophobia, with a cumulative percentage of the onset in about 90% of the patients. From this point of view, menstrually related migraine—a particularly difficult-to-treat form of primary headache—is no different from other forms of migraine. Symptomatic treatment should therefore be evaluated not only in terms of headache relief, but also by considering its effect on these migraine-associated symptoms (MAS). Starting from the data collected in a recently completed multicentre, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study with almotriptan in menstrually related migraine, an analysis of the effect of this drug on the evolution of MAS was performed. Data suggest that almotriptan shows excellent efficacy on MAS in comparison to the placebo, with a significant reduction in the percentages of suffering patients over a 2-h period of time.
doi:10.1007/s10072-010-0302-9
PMCID: PMC2869014  PMID: 20464599
Acute treatment; Almotriptan; Menstrual migraine; Migraine-associated symptoms
8.  Headache, anxiety and depressive disorders: the HADAS study 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2010;11(2):141-150.
The objective of this paper was to assess prevalence and characteristics of anxiety and depression in migraine without aura and tension-type headache, either isolated or in combination. Although the association between headache and psychiatric disorders is undisputed, patients with migraine and/or tension-type headache have been frequently investigated in different settings and using different tests, which prevents meaningful comparisons. Psychiatric comorbidity was tested through structured interview and the MINI inventory in 158 adults with migraine without aura and in 216 persons with tension-type headache or migraine plus tension-type headache. 49 patients reported psychiatric disorders: migraine 10.9%, tension-type headache 12.8%, and migraine plus tension-type headache 21.4%. The MINI detected a depressive episode in 59.9, 67.0, and 69.6% of cases. Values were 18.4, 19.3, and 18.4% for anxiety, 12.7, 5.5, and 14.2%, for panic disorder and 2.3, 1.1 and 9.4% (p = 0.009) for obsessive–compulsive disorder. Multivariate analysis showed panic disorder prevailing in migraine compared with the other groups (OR 2.9; 95% CI 1.2–7.0). The association was higher (OR 6.3; 95% CI 1.4–28.5) when migraine (with or without tension-type headache) was compared to pure tension-type headache. This also applied to obsessive–compulsive disorder (OR 4.8; 95% CI 1.1–20.9) in migraine plus tension-type headache. Psychopathology of primary headache can reflect shared risk factors, pathophysiologic mechanisms, and disease burden.
doi:10.1007/s10194-010-0187-2
PMCID: PMC3452290  PMID: 20108021
Migraine; Tension-type headache; Depression; Anxiety; Prevalence
9.  Cardiac cephalgia 
The purpose of this review was to provide a critical evaluation of medical literature on so-called “cardiac cephalgia” or “cardiac cephalalgia”. The 2004 International Classification of Headache Disorders codes cardiac cephalgia to 10.6 in the group of secondary headaches attributed to disorder of homoeostasis. This headache is hardly recognizable and is associated to an ischaemic cardiovascular event, of which it may be the only manifestation in 27% of cases. It usually occurs after exertion. Sometimes routine examinations, cardiac enzymes, ECG and even exercise stress test prove negative. In such cases, only a coronary angiogram can provide sufficient evidence for diagnosis. Cardiac cephalgia manifests itself without a specific pattern of clinical features: indeed, in this headache subtype there is a high variability of clinical manifestations between different patients and also within the same patient. It “mimics” sometimes a form of migraine either accompanied or not by autonomic symptoms, sometimes a form of tension-type headache; on other occasions, it exhibits characteristics that can hardly be interpreted as typical of primary headache. Pain location is highly variable. When the headache occurs as the only manifestation of an acute coronary event, the clues for suspicion are a) older age at onset, b) no past medical history of headache, c) presence of risk factors for vascular disorders and d) onset of headache under stress. Knowledge of cardiac cephalgia is scarce, due to its rare clinical occurrence and to the scant importance given to headache as a symptom concomitantly with an ischaemic cardiac event.
doi:10.1007/s10194-008-0087-x
PMCID: PMC3451760  PMID: 19139804
Cardiac cephalgia; Exertional headache; Secondary headache; Headache attributed to disorder of homoeostasis; Acute myocardial ischemia
10.  Epidemiology of migraine 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2003;4(Suppl 1):s18-s22.
One-year migraine prevalence rates in the general population for Western countries vary from 4% to 9% in men and from 11% to 25% in women. Non-Western countries report lower figures. Incidence rates for people under 30 years of age vary from 1.5 to 6 per 1000 person-years in men and from 3 to 24 per 1000 person-years in women. Data on the prevalence of migraine in general, on the gender ratio and on the variations in prevalence in the different age ranges are fairly comparable and can be regarded as very close to reality. On the contrary, data on the incidence of migraine, on the prevalence of different migraine subtypes, such as migraine with aura and the so-called migrainous disorder, and on the frequency of migraine attacks show a striking discordance that somewhat undermines their reliability. The main critical points in prevalence and incidence studies are migraine definition and the methodological approaches used for case screening. Even if International Headache Society (IHS) classification is certainly an improvement over previous tools used in epidemiological studies, the diagnostic criteria for migraine without aura are quite scanty and not easily remembered by subjects belonging to the general population, and those for migraine with aura appear not only difficult to translate for use in a questionnaire or an interview, but also too loose. In particular, the lack of any low-end limit for aura duration may cause an overestimation of migraine with aura prevalence.
doi:10.1007/s101940300003
PMCID: PMC3611683
Key words Migraine; Migraine without aura; Migraine with aura; Epidemiology; Headache
11.  Epidemiology of migraine 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2001;2(Suppl 1):s11-s13.
The 1988 International Headache Society (IHS) classification has greatly contributed to overcoming the obstacles that had made it difficult in the past to compare results of surveys on headache epidemiology. For migraine without aura, the more recent studies of the general adult population indicate lifetime prevalence rates between 6% and 10% for men and between 15% and 26% for women. One–year prevalence rates are between 2% and 15% for men and between 4% and 35% for women. Rates of frequent migraine are 6% in men and 14% in women. Migraine occurs in 3%–6% of prepubertal children with no significant differences between girls and boys. The prevalence of migraine without aura increases progressively from the age of 12 years up to about the age of 40, when it begins to record a gradual, progressive decrease down to 1%–4% in the elderly. For migraine with aura, recent epidemiological investigations by Rasmussen and Olesen indicate a lifetime prevalence rate of 6% and a one-year prevalence rate of 4%.
doi:10.1007/s101940170002
PMCID: PMC3451821
Migraine; Migraine without aura; Migraine with aura; Epidemiology

Results 1-11 (11)