Episodic Cluster Headache I: Personality and Some Neuropsychological Characteristics in Male Patients


  • 1Paper presented at the 9th International Migraine Trust Symposium in London, September 28, 1990.



The etiology and pathogenesis of cluster headache remain largely unknown. Some previous studies have focused on personality characteristics in cluster headache. However, no consistent personality profile has been found. The present study applied two personality inventories, the Karolinska Scales of Personality (KSP) and the Heart and Lifestyle Type A Measure (HALTAM), that have not previously been used in the context of cluster headache. A correlation has been suggested between left-handedness and early learning difficulties, and cluster headache.12 Thus, these variables were included and measured by inventory techniques.

Forty-nine out of 51 consecutive male patients with episodic cluster headache participated in the present study. As compared to controls, the cluster headache patients were significantly more anxiety-prone (higher scores in the KSP Somatic anxiety and Muscular tension subscales), less successfully socialized (low scores in the KSP Socialization scale), and had a more hostile attitude towards others (higher scores in the HALTAM Hostility scale). No relationships between left-handedness or early learning difficulties, and cluster headache disease were found. The implications of the personality differences for the etiology of cluster headache disease are discussed.