New Study by Curelator Reveals Surprisingly Variable Relationship between Peak Pain Severity and Stress in Individuals with Chronic Migraine
- The new study is one of the largest, longitudinal chronic migraine studies to date that analyzed daily, prospectively collected data from 136 participants with more than 8200 migraine days over three months using the N1-Headache™ app.
- The study concluded that, on average, peak pain severity was higher on days in which the individual perceived higher stress levels. It is unclear whether stress was a symptom or a cause.
- However, there was great variation within and between individuals. Some individuals showed no relationship between stress and peak pain severity. Others, surprisingly, even experienced lower peak severity on days with higher perceived stress. This underscores the need for each individual to understand their own unique experience and to personally tailor treatments.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Curelator Inc. today announced new data with what is the first study to prospectively examine daily peak pain severity patterns and the day-to-day relationship between peak severity and perceived stress, in individuals with chronic migraine.
Approximately 8% of all individuals with migraine and 1.4-2.2% of the global population suffer from chronic migraine. Historically, stress is thought to play an important role in a variety of aspects of chronic migraine. Stressful life events, e.g. divorce or death of a family member, may increase the risk of progression to chronic migraine, whilst day to day stress levels may be associated with occurrence and/or the peak pain severity of migraine attacks.
Patients in the study reported an average of 23.2 days with headache per month, of which 19.3 days/month per individual were classed as migraine days. In the majority of individuals, pain severity was classified as moderate or severe on 50% or more of their headache days.
On average, peak pain severity was higher on days in which the individual perceived higher stress levels. However, there was great variation between individuals. Some individuals showed no relationship between stress and peak pain severity, or even presented lower peak severity on days with higher stress. This underscores the need for each individual to understand their own unique experience and to personally tailor treatments.
"Preliminary data suggest that the day-to-day relationship between stress and attacks may be more complex than high levels of perceived stress associated with high levels of pain. The relationship may depend more on differential levels of day-to-day stress than on the absolute stress levels on the day of the attack.'' Explained Marina Vives-Mestres, Ph.D., lead author, Analytics Lead at Curelator and Visiting Professor of Statistics at the Universitat de Girona (Spain).
Serena Orr, M.D., senior author of the study, Assistant Professor, Depts of Pediatrics, Clinical Neurosciences and Community Health Sciences at Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary and Director, Pediatric Headache Program, Alberta Children's Hospital also commented: "This study emphasizes the necessity to closely monitor patients who consistently report higher levels of peak severity, as they are likely more disabled from their disease. Care providers will be required to tailor their approach and intervention strategies more effectively to the individual patient."
Individualized digital data capture and analytics were enabled by Curelator's N1-Headache™, a digital platform that combines a simple smartphone data entry process with personalized N=1 analytics. After 90 days of data entry, the application generates Individual Trigger Map®, Protector Map® and No Association Map for each user incorporated within a Personal Analytical Report. The information featured in the Personal Report enables patients and their clinicians to generate individual, high resolution phenotypic profiles to manage risk factors and monitor medication use.
Vives-Mestres M, Casanova A, Hershey AD, Orr SL. Perceived stress and pain severity in individuals with chronic migraine: a longitudinal cohort study using daily prospective diary data. Headache 2021;epub;DOI: 10.1111/head.14199.
Founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 2013, Curelator is a data-driven digital health company focused on developing clinical grade, personalised disease management tools for patients and clinicians. Since its inception, Curelator has published dozens of papers and abstracts in major headache and migraine journals and conferences, and it has enrolled thousands of patients on clinical studies through its N1-Headache™ platform.
N1-Headache™ is a unique patient engagement platform that delivers personalized, disease management tools for people with a history of migraine or medication overuse, allowing them to understand their migraine attack patterns in an individualized manner. This personalized information enables patients and their healthcare providers to manage individual migraine risk factors, assess therapeutic response to drugs and identify opportunities to prevent medication overuse.
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