Cephalalgia Publishes Study by the Coordinator of Headache Centre

Cephalalgia, the scientific journal of the International Headache Society and publication of reference in the area, publishes in its June edition an article by Raquel Gil-Gouveia, neurologist and coordinator of Hospital da Luz Lisboa Headache Centre.

This scientific revision article – entitled “Clinical description of attack-related cognitive symptoms in migraine: a systematic review” – identifies the cognitive alterations registered by patients during headache crises.

Headache is the third most common disease in the world, estimated to affect about 14.7% of the population, especially women. Besides its physical effects (pain, intolerance to light, nausea, etc.), it causes cognitive alterations, such as lack of concentration, slow thinking and difficulties in decision making, that can be as disabling as pain and have high impact on personal and professional life.

The purpose of this work, where Isabel Pavão Martins is co-author (Department of Neuroscience and Mental Health from Hospital de Santa Maria, in Lisbon), was to determine the cognitive alterations suffered by patients and identify which occur at each stage of the crisis.
In that sense, the researchers reviewed 24 articles concerning studies involving a total of 7.007 patients (82.9% women, the most affected by headache), with average age of 39.2 years old.
Lack of concentration and reasoning difficulty were the cognitive alterations more frequently described by patients, in the initial stage and during the headache crisis. In the post-crisis stage, the great majority referred fatigue, but also in many cases difficulty in concentrating.