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Headache. 2006 Jun;46(6):983-90.

Not tonight, I have a headache?

Author information

  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1009, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The present study examined the relationship between the diagnosis of migraine and self-reported sexual desire.

BACKGROUND:

There is evidence for a complex relationship between sexual activity and headache, particularly migraine. The current headache diagnostic criteria even distinguish between several types of primary headaches associated with sexual activity.

METHODS:

Members of the community or students at the Illinois Institute of Technology (N = 68) were administered the Brief Headache Diagnostic Interview and the Sexual Desire Inventory (SDI). Based on the revised diagnostic criteria established by the International Headache Society (ICHD-II), participants were placed in 1 of the 2 headache diagnostic groups: migraine (n = 23) or tension-type (n = 36).

RESULTS:

Migraine subjects reported higher SDI scores, and rated their own perceived level of desire higher than those suffering from tension-type headache. The presence of the symptom "headache aggravated by routine physical activity" significantly predicted an elevated SDI score.

CONCLUSIONS:

Migraine headaches and sexual desire both appear to be at least partially modulated by serotonin (5-HT). The metabolism of 5-HT has been shown to covary with the onset of a migraine attack, and migraineurs appear to have chronically low systemic 5-HT. As sexual desire also has been linked to serotonin levels, the results are consistent with the hypothesis that migraine and sexual desire both may be modulated by similar serotonergic phenomena.

PMID:
16732844
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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