Does Low Atmospheric Pressure Independently Trigger Migraine?

Authors

  • Hayrunnisa Bolay MD, PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. From Department of Neurology and Neuropsychiatry Centre, Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey (H. Bolay); Department of Neurology, The David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA (A. Rapoport).
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Alan Rapoport MD

    1. From Department of Neurology and Neuropsychiatry Centre, Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey (H. Bolay); Department of Neurology, The David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA (A. Rapoport).
    Search for more papers by this author

  • Conflict of Interest: None.

H. Bolay, Department of Neurology and Neuropsychiatry Center, Gazi University, Gazi Hospital, 3rd Floor, Besevler, Ankara 06510, Turkey, email: bolayh@yahoo.com.

Abstract

Although atmospheric weather changes are often listed among the common migraine triggers, studies to determine the specific weather component(s) responsible have yielded inconsistent results. Atmospheric pressure change produces air movement, and low pressure in particular is associated with warm weather, winds, clouds, dust, and precipitation, but how this effect might generate migraine is not immediately obvious. Humans are exposed to low atmospheric pressure in situations such as ascent to high altitude or traveling by airplane in a pressurized cabin. In this brief overview, we consider those conditions and experimental data delineating other elements in the atmosphere potentially related to migraine (such as Saharan dust). We conclude that the available data suggest low atmospheric pressure unaccompanied by other factors does not trigger migraine.

Ancillary