Research suggests that cutaneous allodynia is common among patients with migraine and often associated with reduced efficacy of acute therapies as well as greater risk of disease progression. For a recent study published in Cephalalagia, researchers evaluated a large representative sample of adults with migraine using validated screening tools and assessments in an effort to identify factors associated with allodynia in migraineurs. Through a secondary analysis of data from the Migraine in America Symptoms and Treatment (MAST), the study evaluated more than 15,000 patients with migraine who met eligibility criteria. Of those, about 40% experienced allodynia. The robust research data from the study is broken down as follows:

  1. More women reported having versus not having allodynia (80% vs 68.3%, respectively).
  2. Those with versus without allodynia were younger (41.4 vs 44.2 years, respectively).
  3. Smokers were more prevalent among those with versus without allodynia (14.4% vs 9.4%, respectively).
  4. Headache frequency was greater in individuals with versus without allodynia (6.56 vs 4.90 mean monthly headache days, respectively).
  5. Oral prophylactic medications were taken more often by those with versus without allodynia (15.7% vs 8.7%, respectively).

Individuals with versus without allodynia also had a higher rate of medication overuse (20.7% vs 11.9%, respectively), probable anxiety and/or depression (33.3% vs 17.1%), mean Migraine Symptom Severity Scale score (17.64 vs 15.93, respectively), and mean pain intensity (7.07 vs 6.41 out of 10.00, respectively). The authors noted that “the results from the MAST Study further highlight the need to query [patients with] migraine about symptoms of allodynia.”