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Vestibular migraine patients are more anxious than migraine patients without vestibular symptoms

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The link between vertigo and anxiety is well known. The aim of this study is to compare anxiety disorders in 3 groups: patients with vestibular migraine (VM), patients with migraine but without vertigo (MO) and healthy controls (HC).We performed cross-sectional analysis of following tests: (a) Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAMA); (b) State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-X1 and STAI-X2); (c) Beck Depression Inventory (BDI); (d) Panic–Agoraphobic Scale and (e) Penn State Worry Questionnaire (PSWQ). ANOVA, Kruskal–Wallis and Chi-square tests were used for comparisons and least significant difference was used for further post-hoc analysis. There were 35 definite VM patients, 31 MO patients and 32 volunteer HC. There were no significant differences between three groups in age, total years of education or duration of headaches in VM and MO patients. On the other hand, vertigo severity  was moderately and positively correlated with headache severity and with headache duration. There were significant differences in scores of HARS, BDI, PSWQ, and various PAS-R sub-scales between the three groups. Our study shows that VM patients are significantly more anxious and agoraphobic than MO patients and HC, displaying higher sensitivity to separation and being more prone to seeking medical reassurance.

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On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest. Authors thank Koray Kocaoğlu for his assistance preparing the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Gülden Akdal.

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Local ethics committee approved the study. All study procedures have been performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments.

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Özge Kutay and Gülden Akdal authors contributed equally to this manuscript to share first authorship.

This manuscript is part of a supplement sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the funding initiative for integrated research and treatment centers.

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Kutay, Ö., Akdal, G., Keskinoğlu, P. et al. Vestibular migraine patients are more anxious than migraine patients without vestibular symptoms. J Neurol 264 (Suppl 1), 37–41 (2017).

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