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Research Article

Psychiatric disorders and pain location in unilateral migraineurs


To explore the relationship between the side of pain during attacks and psychopathological features in strictly unilateral migraine, we recruited 35 patients affected by migraine with and/or without aura diagnosed according to the revised ICHD–II criteria. Seventeen patients had right side–locked pain (R–SUM), 11 had left side–locked (L–SUM) and 7 had side–shifting pain (SSM). Patients were administered the Hamilton Anxiety Scale, the State and Trait Anxiety Inventory–State Anxiety, the Beck Depression Inventory and the 20–item Toronto Alexithymia Scale. Statistical analyses showed that the L–SUM group was significantly more anxious and depressed than the other two groups of patients. Our preliminary data suggest that strictly left unilateral migraine is associated with more severe anxiety and depression. This finding appears to be consistent with studies that reported a higher degree of these disorders in patients with left cerebral hemispheric damage.