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Keywords:

  • migraine;
  • neuroticism;
  • anxiety;
  • nonshared environment;
  • psychosocial environment

The aim of the study was to compare adult migraine discordant full siblings in terms of personality and psychosocial environment during childhood. The study, involving 30 sibling pairs and use of various personality instruments (Eysenck Personality Inventory [EPI], Color Word Test [CWT], Visual Aftereffects [VAE], Meta Contrast Technique [MCT], Cesarec-Marke Personality Schedule), showed the migraineurs scored significantly higher on neuroticism (EPI), also called emotional stress or trait anxiety; to be more sensitive (MCT); and to display signs of greater anxiety (VAE, CWT). Furthermore, migraineurs tended to report greater scarcity of friends during childhood and less verbal, as well as, nonverbal encouragement from their parents, than their migraine-free siblings. Neuroticism was found to correlate significantly with migraine, but not with headache frequency or severity in the migraine group. It is argued that, due to the high neuroticism of some migraineurs, psychotherapy should be considered as an alternative to other prophylactic treatments such as use of β-adrenoceptor blockers, although the acute migraine onset should be pharmacologically treated.