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Gender Difference in Prevalence of Migraine

Compared with males, migraine may have an additional influence on females and lead to more dysfunction in their interictal neurocognitive processing, a new study found. Researchers investigated the effect of gender on neurocognitive processing in migraineurs. The study included 46 migraine patients without aura (23 females, mean age 32.848 years) during the interictal period and 46 age-matched healthy controls (23 females, mean age 32.652 years). The emotional characteristics of participants were evaluated, and attentive processing was analyzed via event-related potential examinations. Among the findings:

  • Migraineurs suffered from emotional and visual cognitive processing abnormalities compared with healthy controls, including higher levels of anxiety and reduced P3 amplitude.
  • Female patients appeared to be more anxious and have more severe impairment in attentive processing of visual stimuli vs their male counterparts.
  • The gender-related differences in migraineurs were further validated using event-related potential difference waveforms.


Guo Y, Xu S, Nie S, et al. Female versus male migraine: An event-related potential study of visual neurocognitive processing. [Published online ahead of print April 23, 2019]. J Headache Pain. doi: 10.1186/s10194-019-0995-y.