The aim of the present study was to evaluate complaints in people with Ménière's disease (MD) with and without migraine and headache to study the association between MD and Vestibular Migraine (VM). We believe this will help us understand if these two disorders represent a disease continuum in that they may share a common aetiology.
The study used a retrospective design and included data of 911 patients with MD from the Finnish Ménière Federation database. The study participants had a mean age of 60.2 years, mean duration of disease of 12.6 years, and 78.7% of the participants were females. The questionnaire data comprised of both disease specific and impact related questions. The data were analyzed using the Mann-Whitney U test, the Kruskal Wallis H test, logistic regression analyses, and decision tree analysis.
Migraine and headache was reported by 190 subjects (20.9%) and 391 subjects (42.9%) respectively. We found that patients that could be classified as VM in the study (i.e., those with frequent vertigo spells associated with migraine) more often reported complaints of severe MD symptoms, had reduced health-related quality of life, suffered more from anxiety, had more neurological complaints, and experienced a reduced sense of coherence than the non-migraneous patients with MD. However, neither the decision tree analysis nor the logistic regression analysis could reliably discriminate VM from MD patients.
Our study results confirm that MD is frequently associated with headache and migraine. In addition, results also indicate that migraine provokes the severity of MD. We suggest that MD and VM may share similar pathophysiological mechanisms. Hence, the future MD classification systems should include a category referred to as 'MD with migraine' that will include patients with VM.