To determine the relationship between vestibular migraine (VM) and motion sickness (MoS) susceptibility and their comorbidity in a large student population, and to assess whether experiencing MoS is associated with higher susceptibility for VM.
Surveys including Motion Sickness Susceptibility Questionnaire (MSSQ) and questions assessing migraine-related symptoms as well as family history of motion sickness and migraine headache were distributed to the university undergraduate students through Facebook and email. Diagnosis of definite VM (dVM) was based on the criteria of the International Classification of Headache Disorders.
Of 277 survey responders, 148 (53%) were found to be susceptible to MoS in which 74 (50%) met the criteria for dVM. Only childhood MSSQ score was significantly higher in participants with dVM compared with those without dVM (25.78 ± 15.89 versus 20.77 ± 14.28, p = 0.04); however, its significance faded out by regression analysis. Multivariate logistic regression showed having 1st degree relative with migraine headache (p = 0.02), neck stiffness (p = 0.001), and sinus pain, facial pressure, or headache with wind exposure (p = 0.02) to be independently associated with presence of dVM in MoS subjects.
Though participants with MoS and dVM had significantly greater rates of migraine-related symptoms and family history of migraine headache compared with those with MoS only, childhood and adulthood MSSQ scores were similar. This and the high prevalence of dVM in our MoS cohort may suggest an existing association between MoS susceptibility and VM.