Transient visual disturbances are associated with disability and suicide risk in patients with migraine without aura

Yu Chien Tsao, Yen Feng Wang, Jong Ling Fuh, Wei Ta Chen, Kuan Lin Lai, Hung Yu Liu, Shuu Jiun Wang*, Shih Pin Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: To investigate the characteristics and clinical correlates of transient visual disturbances (TVDs) in patients with migraine without aura (MO). Patients with MO frequently report TVDs, which differ from typical visual aura, but the clinical significance of these TVDs has not been determined. Methods: Patients with MO who attended our headache clinics were enrolled. Structured questionnaires were used to acquire data on participants' headache profiles, disability, comorbidities, and lifetime suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. A semistructured visual phenomenon questionnaire was used to characterize TVDs. Headache specialists interviewed the participants for diagnosis and the verification of questionnaire responses. Results: Patients with MO (n = 7200; female/male ratio = 3.56, mean age 40.1 ± 13.4 years) were divided into two groups based on the presence (n = 2488) or absence (n = 4712) of TVDs. Patients with TVDs had more headache-related disability, psychiatric comorbidities, and photophobia than did those without TVDs. Suicidal ideation and suicide attempts were more common among patients with than among those without TVDs [ideation: odds ratio (OR) = 1.92, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.71-2.15, p < 0.001; suicide attempt: OR = 2.23, 95% CI 1.80-2.75, p < 0.001]. Conclusion: The presence of TVDs may imply greater migraine-related disability, photophobia, and suicidal ideation/suicide attempt risk in patients with MO.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-564
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Chinese Medical Association
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2023


  • Migraine without aura
  • Photophobia
  • Suicide risk
  • Transient visual disturbance


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