A study of migraine characteristics in joint hypermobility syndrome a.k.a. Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, hypermobility type

Neurol Sci. 2015 Aug;36(8):1417-24. doi: 10.1007/s10072-015-2173-6. Epub 2015 Mar 20.


Joint hypermobility syndrome (JHS) and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, hypermobility type (EDS-HT) are two clinically overlapping heritable connective tissue disorders strongly associated with musculoskeletal pain, fatigue and headache. Migraine with or without aura is considered the most common form of headache in JHS/EDS-HT. In this population of chronically ill patients, we investigated whether migraine characteristics were different from those of a control population of migraine patients. The study was carried out on 33 selected JHS/EDS-HT patients, diagnosed according to current criteria. Sixty-six migraine subjects matching age and gender were consecutively selected as controls (MO group) among patients attending our Headache Clinic. JHS/EDS-HT and MO were screened for a series of headache characteristics, such as frequency, intensity, age of onset, level of disability, use of rescue and prophylactic medications. Differences between the two groups were tested by using independent group comparisons. Results showed that in JHS/EDS-HT: (1) migraine has an earlier onset (12.6 vs 17 years of age; p = 0.005); (2) the rate of migraine days/month is higher (15 vs 9.3 days/month; p = 0.01); (3) accompanying symptoms are usually more frequent; (4) HIT-6 and MIDAS scores are higher (p = 0.04 and p = 0.03); (5) efficacy of rescue medication is almost identical, although, total drug consumption is significantly lower (p < 0.04). Joint hypermobility syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, hypermobility type patients have a more severe headache syndrome with respect to the MO group, therefore demonstrating that migraine has a very high impact on quality of life in this disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / complications*
  • Joint Instability / congenital*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Migraine Disorders / etiology*
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult

Supplementary concepts

  • Joint laxity, familial