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Odds of Migraine Up With Median, Multiple Nerve Decompressions

Rates of migraine higher in association with median nerve decompression, multiple nerve decompressions

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 14, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Patients who undergo upper-extremity nerve decompression for median nerve compression or multiple nerve decompressions have increased odds of migraine, according to a study published in the December issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Lisa Gfrerer, M.D., Ph.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined the correlation between migraine and upper-extremity nerve compression in an analysis including 9,558 patients who underwent nerve decompression surgery of the upper extremity (median, ulnar, and radial nerves and thoracic outlet syndrome).

Compared with ulnar nerve decompression and thoracic outlet syndrome, the researchers observed independent associations for median nerve decompression and multiple nerve decompressions with higher rates of migraine (odds ratios, 1.3 [95 percent confidence interval, 1.0 to 1.8; P = 0.046] and 1.7 [95 percent confidence interval, 1.2 to 2.5; P = 0.008], respectively). A negative association with migraine was seen for older age and male sex. Independent associations with migraine headache were seen for history of psychiatric disease, rheumatoid arthritis/collagen vascular diseases, hypothyroidism, hypertension, and chronic pulmonary disease.

“The overlap between upper extremity nerve compression and migraine further supports a theory that both could be connected through pathobiology and genetics,” the authors write. “Improved understanding of shared biology and disease mechanisms between upper extremity nerve compression syndromes and migraine is an important step in identification of new therapeutic targets and treatment strategies that could have a broad impact on affected patients.”

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the medical technology industry.

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