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The chronobiology of migraine: a systematic review

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftReviewpeer review


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BACKGROUND: The paroxysmal nature of migraine is a hallmark of the disease. Some patients report increased attack frequency at certain seasons or towards the end of the week, while others experience diurnal variations of migraine attack onset. This systematic review investigates the chronobiology of migraine and its relation to the periodicity of attacks in existing literature to further understand the oscillating nature of migraine.

MAIN BODY: PubMed and Embase were systematically searched and screened for eligible articles with outcome measures relating to a circadian, weekly or seasonal distribution of migraine attacks. We found that the majority of studies reported morning hours (6 am-12 pm) as the peak time of onset for migraine attacks. More studies reported Saturday as weekly peak day of attack. There was no clear seasonal variation of migraine due to methodological differences (primarily related to location), however four out of five studies conducted in Norway reported the same yearly peak time indicating a possible seasonal periodicity phenomenon of migraine.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings of the current review suggest a possible role of chronobiologic rhythms to the periodicity of migraine attacks. Future studies are, however, still needed to provide more knowledge of the oscillating nature of migraine.

TidsskriftJournal of Headache and Pain
Udgave nummer1
StatusUdgivet - dec. 2021

ID: 66965130