Psychological correlates of idiopathic intracranial hypertension

Anat Kesler, Amnon Mosek, Nataly Fithlicher, Yori Gidron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Idiopathic intracranial hypertension, also known as pseudotumor cerebri, is a relatively rare disorder of increased intracranial pressure >250 mm water, with a normal neuroimaging and normal cerebrospinal fluid content. Objectives: To examine whether hostility, anxiety and autobiographical memory (a correlate of depression) are associated with IIH. Methods: Using a case-control cross sectional design, 20 patients with IIH were compared with 9 healthy controls of similar age, weight and height, and 11 headache controls. Patients were assessed for hostility and anxiety. The Autobiographical Memory Test was used to assess episodic memories. Results: The IIH group reported significantly more anxiety and more general episodic memories than the healthy controls, but not the headache control group. The headache control patients reported more general memories than did the healthy controls. Conclusions: Patients with headaches, whether of general origin or related to IIH, have a poor psychosocial profile. While the study design does not permit any conclusions regarding causality, our results support the need to consider psychological factors in evaluating and treating IIH and headache patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-630
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety
  • Autobiographical memory
  • Hostility
  • Idiopathic intracranial hypertension
  • Pseudotumor cerebri

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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