Send to

Choose Destination
Pain Pract. 2019 Nov 1. doi: 10.1111/papr.12854. [Epub ahead of print]

Subgrouping Factors Influencing Migraine Intensity in Women: A Semi-automatic Methodology Based on Machine Learning and Information Geometry.

Author information

Biomedical Data Science Lab (BDSLab), Instituto Universitario de las Tecnologías de la Información y Comunicaciones (ITACA), Univeritat Politècnica de València, Valencia, Spain.
Instituto Universitario de Matemática Pura y Aplicada (IUMPA), Universitat Politécnica de València, Valencia, Spain.
Departamento de Psicología Evolutiva y de la Educación, Universitat de València, València, Spain.
Department of Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, Spain.



Migraine is a heterogeneous condition with multiple clinical manifestations. Machine learning algorithms permit the identification of population groups, providing analytical advantages over other modeling techniques.


The aim of this study was to analyze critical features that permit the differentiation of subgroups of patients with migraine according to the intensity and frequency of attacks by using machine learning algorithms.


Sixty-seven women with migraine participated. Clinical features of migraine, related disability (Migraine Disability Assessment Scale), anxiety/depressive levels (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), anxiety state/trait levels (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory), and pressure pain thresholds (PPTs) over the temporalis, neck, second metacarpal, and tibialis anterior were collected. Physical examination included the flexion-rotation test, cervical range of cervical motion, forward head position while sitting and standing, passive accessory intervertebral movements (PAIVMs) with headache reproduction, and joint positioning sense error. Subgrouping was based on machine learning algorithms by using the nearest neighbors algorithm, multisource variability assessment, and random forest model.


For migraine intensity, group 2 (women with a regular migraine headache intensity score of 7 on an 11-point Numeric Pain Rating Scale [where 0 = no pain and 10 = maximum pain]) were younger and had lower joint positioning sense error in cervical rotation, greater cervical mobility in rotation and flexion, lower flexion-rotation test scores, positive PAIVMs reproducing migraine, normal PPTs over the tibialis anterior, shorter migraine history, and lower cranio-vertebral angles while standing than the remaining migraine intensity subgroups. The most discriminative variable was the flexion-rotation test score of the symptomatic side. For migraine frequency, no model was able to identify differences between groups (ie, patients with episodic or chronic migraine).


A subgroup of women with migraine who had common migraine intensity was identified with machine learning algorithms.


machine learning; migraine; multisource variability; random forest


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center