In a recent study by Edwards et al. which aimed to increase awareness of cognitive dysfunction in migraine patients, the dysfunction which migraineurs experience at the arrival of migraines was examined. Many migraine patients have reported difficulty in cognition due to lack of concentration, difficulty finding words, or the inability to remember. These issues make cognitive dysfunction with migraine (CDM) sufficiently severe to affect daily functioning. For the study, 25 migraine patients were given a computerized cognitive test called the Mental Efficiency Workload Test (MEWT) while they were not experiencing migraines in order to establish baseline cognitive values. The MEWT was then administered again during two separate migraine attacks, both at the onset of the attack and 2 hours afterwards. When the MEWT was administered during the attacks, pain and associated migraine symptoms were also evaluated. The results of these tests showed that all participants experienced a statistically significant decline in overall cognitive efficiency at the onset of the migraine attack compared to their baseline cognitive function. It was demonstrated that the cognitive dysfunction was maximal at the onset of the migraine attack but did not necessarily correlate with the intensity of the attack. The study concluded that migraine may cause a significant and global cognitive dysfunction in many patients at the onset of migraine and CDM may be an under recognized disability associated with migraine especially when independent from the headache intensity.
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