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Executive functions in migraine patients: a systematic review with meta-analysis

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journal contribution
posted on 24.11.2022, 13:20 authored by Luciane Kaiser Pinotti, Anderson da Silva Castro, Gabriel Henrique de Oliveira Garcia, Pedro Henrique Pereira Alvim, Thiago Henrique Roza, Fabiana Antunes Andrade, Pedro André Kowacs, Raffael Massuda

Introduction: Migraine, a common neurological disease, is known to impact the quality of life of individuals with this condition.

Methods: We performed a systematic review with meta-analysis to investigate the abnormalities associated with executive functions of migraineurs as compared with healthy controls. In addition, we investigated the differences between patients with and without aura.

Results: A total of 25 studies were included in the systematic review and 19 in the meta-analysis. Meta-analysis was conducted using random effects models, with the unit of analysis as the standardised mean difference (calculated as Hedges’g). Patients with migraine had worse performance in the trail making test A (g = 0.40; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.05–0.74; p = 0.0271) and B (g = 0.40; 95% CI 0.16–0.64; p = 0.0026), and digit span backward test (g = –0.20; 95% CI – 0.31, – 0.09; p = 0.0105). Subgroup analysis revealed no difference between migraine with and without aura.

Conclusion: These results suggest that migraine patients may present worse performance for specific executive functional domains, including attention, working memory, and mental flexibility.


The author(s) reported there is no funding associated with the work featured in this article.