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A Pilot Study to Measure Cognitive Efficiency During Migraine


Address all correspondence to Dr. Kathleen U. Farmer, Headache Care Center, 1230 East Kingsley, Springfield, MO 65804.


Background and Objectives.—The measurement of cognitive efficiency during migraine has produced conflicting results primarily due to the types of tests used. The objectives of this pilot study were two-fold: to measure cognitive efficiency during migraine, compared to a migraine-free period, and to evaluate the effects of therapy with a 5-HT1 agonist (sumatriptan injection, 6 mg) on the cognitive efficiency of migraineurs during a migraine.

Method.—The Headache Care Center-Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics was administered to 10 migraineurs, three times without a migraine, once during a migraine, and three times after administration of sumatriptan injection (6 mg).

Results.—The results demonstrated a significant drop in cognitive efficiency during migraine and recovery 15 minutes after therapeutic injection.

Conclusions.—This pilot study is the first to document a significant drop in cognitive functioning during migraine and recovery after administration of a migraine-specific medication.