The Journal of Headache and Pain

"European Headache Federation" and of "Lifting The Burden - The Global Campaign against Headache"

The Journal of Headache and Pain Cover Image
Open Access

Memory functions in patients with chronic daily headache

  • Mariantonietta Savarese,
  • Maria Pia Prudenzano,
  • Teresa Francavilla,
  • Mauro Palumbo,
  • Maria Nicolodi,
  • Stefania Canova,
  • Giorgio Zanchin,
  • Franco Granella,
  • Andrea Alberti,
  • Susanna Russo,
  • Rosanna Cerbo and
  • Antonio Carolei
The Journal of Headache and PainOfficial Journal of the Italian Society for the Study of Headaches1:0001S039.10194


Memory loss is a common complaint in headache sufferers. 71 patients, 50 women and 21 men, affected by chronic daily headache with different diagnoses at onset and at study entry underwent a test battery in order to evaluate both short- and long-term memory according to the different sensorial pathway of data acquirement. Statistical analysis of the results was performed using means of Spearman's correlation coefficients, analysis of variance, chi-square, Fisher's test and Mann-Whitney U test. A percentage of patients, ranging from 2% to 56%, according to the different tests, showed a worse performance than normal subjects. The percentage of the subjects with memory difficulty was higher in women and in patients with migraine-type headache at onset, but was not different between overusers and nonoverusers of analgesics, nor among the different forms of present headache. A complex neurotransmitter disorder might account for impairment of both short- and long-term memory in headache patients.

Key words Memory disordersShort-term memoryLong-term memoryVerbal memoryVisuospatial memoryChronic daily headacheDrug overuseSerotoninGlutamate