Clinical Research Papers:

Decreased risk of dementia in migraine patients with traditional Chinese medicine use: a population-based cohort study

Chun-Ting Liu, Bei-Yu Wu, Yu-Chiang Hung, Lin-Yi Wang, Yan-Yuh Lee, Tsu-Kung Lin, Pao-Yen Lin, Wu-Fu Chen, Jen-Huai Chiang, Sheng-Feng Hsu and Wen-Long Hu _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:79680-79692. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.19094

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Chun-Ting Liu1,*, Bei-Yu Wu1,*, Yu-Chiang Hung1,2,*, Lin-Yi Wang3, Yan-Yuh Lee3, Tsu-Kung Lin4, Pao-Yen Lin5, Wu-Fu Chen6, Jen-Huai Chiang7,8, Sheng-Feng Hsu9,10 and Wen-Long Hu1,11,12,*

1Department of Chinese Medicine, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

2School of Chinese Medicine for Post Baccalaureate, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

3Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

4Department of Neurology, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

5Department of Psychiatry, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

6Department of Neurosurgery, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

7Management Office for Health Data, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan

8College of Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan

9Graduate Institute of Acupuncture Science, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan

10Department of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University Hospital, Taipei Branch, Taipei, Taiwan

11Kaohsiung Medical University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

12Fooyin University College of Nursing, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Wen-Long Hu, email: [email protected]

Keywords: dementia, migraine, pharmaco-epidemiology, national health insurance research database, Chinese herbal product

Received: February 27, 2017     Accepted: June 28, 2017     Published: July 08, 2017


Patients with migraine are reportedly at increased risk of developing dementia. We aimed to investigate the association between traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) use and dementia risk in migraine patients. This longitudinal cohort study used the Taiwanese National Health Insurance Research Database to identify 32,386 diagnosed migraine patients aged 20 years and above who received treatment from 1997 to 2010. To balance comparability between TCM users and non-TCM users, we randomly selected equal numbers from each group, and compared subgroups compiled based on combinations of age, sex, index year, and year of migraine diagnosis. All enrollees received follow-up until the end of 2013 to measure dementia incidence. We identified 1,402 TCM users and non-TCM users after frequency matching. A total of 134 subjects were newly diagnosed with dementia during the follow-up period. TCM users were significantly less likely to develop dementia than non-TCM users. The most frequently prescribed formulae and single Chinese herbal products were Jia-Wei-Xiao-Yao-San and Yan-Hu-Suo, respectively. This population-based study revealed a decreased dementia risk in migraine patients with TCM use. These findings may provide a reference for dementia prevention strategies, and help integrate TCM into clinical intervention programs that provide a favorable prognosis for migraine patients.

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