Depression Scores Following Migraine Treatment in Patients Attending a Specialized Center for Headache and Neurology


Address all correspondence to Dr. Hector S. Miranda-Delgado, CEDOC Headache Center, San Francisco Tower, Suite 409, 365 De Diego Avenue, San Juan, PR 00923.


Objective.—To determine the changes in clinical characteristics and depression levels among patients following treatment for migraine.

Background.—Epidemiologic studies have provided consistent evidence regarding an association between migraine and depression. In Puerto Rico, however, migraine has not yet been systematically investigated.

Methods.—A chart review of 144 Puerto Rican patients who presented with migraine, diagnosed according to the International Headache Society criteria, and depression over a 2-year period was performed. The level of depression, before and after migraine treatment, was evaluated using the Zung Self-rating Depression Scale.

Results.—The mean age of patients was 37.0 ± 14.4 years; 77.1% were women. More than half (52.8%) reported severe headache and 56.9% reported a monthly frequency of five attacks or more. Nearly 9% were using antidepressant therapy and 8% were under psychiatric treatment. The mean Zung index score at baseline was 50.6 ±  10.9. Following treatment with triptans, the intensity and frequency of migraine and the Zung index score decreased significantly (P<.00001). A trend for a greater reduction in Zung index scores among patients receiving triptan medications for more than a year was demonstrated (P = .07).

Conclusions.—These results indicate that migraine treatment with triptans appears to be effective in decreasing the headache frequency and intensity, and depression levels, independent of antidepressant medication use or psychiatric treatment.