Psychological Status During Migraine Attack and Interval Before and After Treatment With a Selective 5-HT1-Agonist


Priv.-Doz. Dr. Hartmut Göbel, Department of Neurology, University of Kiel, Niemannsweg 147, 2300 Kiel 1, Germany



The study recorded the quantitative changes in psychological status during migraine attack and interval in 20 migraine patients. It further determined their psychological status after administration of the selective 5-HT1-agonist sumatriptan and placebo during migraine interval and migraine attack. Psychological status was classified with the aid of an adjective list enabling quantitative description of 15 essential aspects of the subjects' current disposition. The results demonstrate a drastic deterioration in psychological status during an acute migraine attack as compared to the migraine interval and plainly show how badly migraine affects the patients, as almost all the aspects of psychological status are impaired.

Administration of placebo did not significantly Influence current disposition either in the migraine interval or during the attack. Sumatriptan minimally increased Inactivity and dizziness during the migraine interval. During an attack sumatriptan completely normalized current disposition within 30 minutes by significantly improving the impaired dimensions. It is conceivable that this rapid normalization is due to the reduction in pain severity and is only a secondary effect of the rapid alleviation of pain. It is also possible that a direct effect of the selective 5-HT1-agonist on the central nervous system may be the cause of this rapid normalization of current disposition.