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1.  Ophthalmoplegic migraine in a 15-year-old Ethiopian: case report and literature review 
The International Headache Society (IHS) defines ophthalmoplegic migraine (OM) as recurrent attacks of headache with migrainous characteristics, associated with paresis of one or more ocular cranial nerves (commonly the third cranial nerve), and in the absence of any demonstrable intracranial lesion other than MRI changes within the affected nerve. According to the IHS criteria, it is diagnosed when at least two attacks with migraine-like headaches are accompanied with, or followed within 4 days of onset by, paresis of one or more of the third, fourth or sixth cranial nerves. Parasellar, orbital fissure and posterior fossa lesions should be ruled out by appropriate investigations. It is unlikely that OM is a variant of migraine, since the headache often lasts for a week or more and there is a latent period of up to 4 days from the onset of headache to the onset of ophthalmoplegia. Furthermore, in some cases MRI shows gadolinium uptake in the cisternal part of the affected cranial nerve and this suggests that the condition may be a recurrent demyelinating neuropathy. In general, patients demonstrated a: (1) prolonged time for symptom resolution to occur (median time 3 weeks); (2) tendency for recurrent episodes to have more severe and persistent nerve involvement; (3) evidence of permanent neurological sequelae with recurrent episodes (30% of patients); (4) rapid improvement and shortened duration with corticosteroid therapy and; (5) transient, reversible MRI contrast enhancement of the affected cranial nerve (86% of patients). Different pathogenetic mechanisms, which include compressive, ischemic and inflammatory, have been suggested for OM. Here, a 15-year-old Ethiopian with recurrent attacks of headache and third nerve palsy is presented. The subsequent discussion focuses on current evidences with regard to the clinical characteristics, possible pathogenetic mechanisms and treatment. Finally, a brief discussion of the situation in Africa will be presented.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10194-008-0089-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3451755  PMID: 19129969
Ophthalmoplegic; Migraine
2.  Ophthalmoplegic “Migraine” or Recurrent Ophthalmoplegic Cranial Neuropathy: New Cases and a Systematic Review 
Journal of child neurology  2012;27(6):759-766.
Ophthalmoplegic migraine is a poorly understood neurologic syndrome characterized by recurrent bouts of head pain and ophthalmoplegia. By reviewing cases presenting to our centers in whom the phenotype has been carefully dissected, and systematically reviewing all published cases of ophthalmoplegic migraine in the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) era, this review sets out to clearly define the syndrome and discuss possible etiologies. We found that in up to one-third of patients, the headache was not migrainous or associated with migrainous symptoms. In three-quarters of the cases involving the third nerve, there was focal nerve thickening and contrast enhancement on MRI. Observational data suggest systemic corticosteroids may be beneficial acutely. The etiology remains unclear, but may involve recurrent bouts of demyelination of the oculomotor nerve. “Ophthalmoplegic migraine” is a misnomer in that it is probably not a variant of migraine but rather a recurrent cranial neuralgia. A more appropriate name might be “ophthalmoplegic cranial neuropathy.”
PMCID: PMC3562350  PMID: 22241707
ophthalmoplegic migraine; headache; aura; neuralgia
3.  Ophthalmoplegia starting with a headache circumscribed in a line-shaped area: a subtype of ophthalmoplegic migraine? 
Recurrent painful ophthalmoplegic neuropathy (RPON), formerly named ophthalmoplegic migraine (OM), is a rare condition characterized by the association of unilateral headaches and the ipsilateral oculomotor nerve palsy. The third cranial nerve is most commonly involved in the recurrent attacks. But it is still debated whether a migraine or an oculomotor neuropathy may be the primary cause of this disorder. Here, we report an elder patient who had a recurrent ophthalmoplegia starting with an unilateral headache circumscribed in an area shaped in a line linking the posterior-parietal region and the ipsilateral eye. And the headache had couple of features similar to that of migraine, such as past history of recurrent migraine attacks, accompaniments of nausea, vomiting, and phonophobia, response to flunarizine and sodium valproate. We may herein report a subtype of OM but not a RPON. This case report indicates that OM may exist as an entity and some OM may be wrongly grouped under the category of RPON in the current international headache classification.
PMCID: PMC3996493  PMID: 24739597
Recurrent painful ophthalmoplegic neuropathy; Ophthalmoplegic migraine; Migraine; Epicrania fugax; Neuralgia
4.  Is migraine with cranial nerve palsy an ophthalmoplegic migraine? 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2007;8(2):119-122.
Ophthalmoplegic migraine (OM) is a rare form of primary headache. Because of its rarity, only a few cases, mostly symptomatic, are reported. We analyse nine cases among 52 973 adults who suffer from headaches with an oculomotor palsy firstly considered as OM. The study was retrospective and multicentric in a database set up in France. The aim of our investigation was to describe the clinical and radiological aspects of these cases and to discuss the diagnosis of OM. We demonstrate that the characteristics of the headaches were identical to usual migraine without oculomotor nerve palsy for each case. The study emphasises the difficulty of the OM diagnosis even with the new IHS criteria because of the rarity of having all characateristics. A wide heterogeneity was noted in cranial imagery and blood tests. We suggest adding the code of probable OM in the IHS classification to increase the knowledge and detection of this type of headache. A biological blood test and an MRI are systematically required to help clinicians in their diagnosis and to exclude alternative aetiology of headache with palsy.
PMCID: PMC3476125  PMID: 17497265
Ophtalmoplegic migraine; Cranial nerve palsy; Migraine and ocular palsy
5.  Neuroimaging for the Evaluation of Chronic Headaches 
Executive Summary
The objectives of this evidence based review are:
i) To determine the effectiveness of computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans in the evaluation of persons with a chronic headache and a normal neurological examination.
ii) To determine the comparative effectiveness of CT and MRI scans for detecting significant intracranial abnormalities in persons with chronic headache and a normal neurological exam.
iii) To determine the budget impact of CT and MRI scans for persons with a chronic headache and a normal neurological exam.
Clinical Need: Condition and Target Population
Headaches disorders are generally classified as either primary or secondary with further sub-classifications into specific headache types. Primary headaches are those not caused by a disease or medical condition and include i) tension-type headache, ii) migraine, iii) cluster headache and, iv) other primary headaches, such as hemicrania continua and new daily persistent headache. Secondary headaches include those headaches caused by an underlying medical condition. While primary headaches disorders are far more frequent than secondary headache disorders, there is an urge to carry out neuroimaging studies (CT and/or MRI scans) out of fear of missing uncommon secondary causes and often to relieve patient anxiety.
Tension type headaches are the most common primary headache disorder and migraines are the most common severe primary headache disorder. Cluster headaches are a type of trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia and are less common than migraines and tension type headaches. Chronic headaches are defined as headaches present for at least 3 months and lasting greater than or equal to 15 days per month. The International Classification of Headache Disorders states that for most secondary headaches the characteristics of the headache are poorly described in the literature and for those headache disorders where it is well described there are few diagnostically important features.
The global prevalence of headache in general in the adult population is estimated at 46%, for tension-type headache it is 42% and 11% for migraine headache. The estimated prevalence of cluster headaches is 0.1% or 1 in 1000 persons. The prevalence of chronic daily headache is estimated at 3%.
Computed Tomography
Computed tomography (CT) is a medical imaging technique used to aid diagnosis and to guide interventional and therapeutic procedures. It allows rapid acquisition of high-resolution three-dimensional images, providing radiologists and other physicians with cross-sectional views of a person’s anatomy. CT scanning poses risk of radiation exposure. The radiation exposure from a conventional CT scanner may emit effective doses of 2-4mSv for a typical head CT.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging technique used to aid diagnosis but unlike CT it does not use ionizing radiation. Instead, it uses a strong magnetic field to image a person’s anatomy. Compared to CT, MRI can provide increased contrast between the soft tissues of the body. Because of the persistent magnetic field, extra care is required in the magnetic resonance environment to ensure that injury or harm does not come to any personnel while in the environment.
Research Questions
What is the effectiveness of CT and MRI scanning in the evaluation of persons with a chronic headache and a normal neurological examination?
What is the comparative effectiveness of CT and MRI scanning for detecting significant intracranial abnormality in persons with chronic headache and a normal neurological exam?
What is the budget impact of CT and MRI scans for persons with a chronic headache and a normal neurological exam.
Research Methods
Literature Search
Search Strategy
A literature search was performed on February 18, 2010 using OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), the Cochrane Library, and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) for studies published from January, 2005 to February, 2010. Abstracts were reviewed by a single reviewer and, for those studies meeting the eligibility criteria full-text articles were obtained. Reference lists were also examined for any additional relevant studies not identified through the search. Articles with an unknown eligibility were reviewed with a second clinical epidemiologist and then a group of epidemiologists until consensus was established.
Inclusion Criteria
Systematic reviews, randomized controlled trials, observational studies
Outpatient adult population with chronic headache and normal neurological exam
Studies reporting likelihood ratio of clinical variables for a significant intracranial abnormality
English language studies
Exclusion Criteria
Studies which report outcomes for persons with seizures, focal symptoms, recent/new onset headache, change in presentation, thunderclap headache, and headache due to trauma
Persons with abnormal neurological examination
Case reports
Outcomes of Interest
Primary Outcome
Probability for intracranial abnormality
Secondary Outcome
Patient relief from anxiety
System service use
System costs
Detection rates for significant abnormalities in MRI and CT scans
Summary of Findings
One systematic review, 1 small RCT, and 1 observational study met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The systematic review completed by Detsky, et al. reported the likelihood ratios of specific clinical variables to predict significant intracranial abnormalities. The RCT completed by Howard et al., evaluated whether neuroimaging persons with chronic headache increased or reduced patient anxiety. The prospective observational study by Sempere et al., provided evidence for the pre-test probability of intracranial abnormalities in persons with chronic headache as well as minimal data on the comparative effectiveness of CT and MRI to detect intracranial abnormalities.
Outcome 1: Pre-test Probability.
The pre-test probability is usually related to the prevalence of the disease and can be adjusted depending on the characteristics of the population. The study by Sempere et al. determined the pre-test probability (prevalence) of significant intracranial abnormalities in persons with chronic headaches defined as headache experienced for at least a 4 week duration with a normal neurological exam. There is a pre-test probability of 0.9% (95% CI 0.5, 1.4) in persons with chronic headache and normal neurological exam. The highest pre-test probability of 5 found in persons with cluster headaches. The second highest, that of 3.7, was reported in persons with indeterminate type headache. There was a 0.75% rate of incidental findings.
Likelihood ratios for detecting a significant abnormality
Clinical findings from the history and physical may be used as screening test to predict abnormalities on neuroimaging. The extent to which the clinical variable may be a good predictive variable can be captured by reporting its likelihood ratio. The likelihood ratio provides an estimate of how much a test result will change the odds of having a disease or condition. The positive likelihood ratio (LR+) tells you how much the odds of having the disease increases when a test is positive. The negative likelihood ratio (LR-) tells you how much the odds of having the disease decreases when the test is negative.
Detsky et al., determined the likelihood ratio for specific clinical variable from 11 studies. There were 4 clinical variables with both statistically significant positive and negative likelihood ratios. These included: abnormal neurological exam (LR+ 5.3, LR- 0.72), undefined headache (LR+ 3.8, LR- 0.66), headache aggravated by exertion or valsalva (LR+ 2.3, LR- 0.70), and headache with vomiting (LR+ 1.8, and LR- 0.47). There were two clinical variables with a statistically significant positive likelihood ratio and non significant negative likelihood ratio. These included: cluster-type headache (LR+ 11, LR- 0.95), and headache with aura (LR+ 12.9, LR- 0.52). Finally, there were 8 clinical variables with both statistically non significant positive and negative likelihood ratios. These included: headache with focal symptoms, new onset headache, quick onset headache, worsening headache, male gender, headache with nausea, increased headache severity, and migraine type headache.
Outcome 2: Relief from Anxiety
Howard et al. completed an RCT of 150 persons to determine if neuroimaging for headaches was anxiolytic or anxiogenic. Persons were randomized to receiving either an MRI scan or no scan for investigation of their headache. The study population was stratified into those persons with a Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (HADS) > 11 (the high anxiety and depression group) and those < 11 (the low anxiety and depression) so that there were 4 groups:
Group 1: High anxiety and depression, no scan group
Group 2: High anxiety and depression, scan group
Group 3: Low anxiety and depression, no scan group
Group 4: Low anxiety and depression, scan group
There was no evidence for any overall reduction in anxiety at 1 year as measured by a visual analogue scale of ‘level of worry’ when analysed by whether the person received a scan or not. Similarly, there was no interaction between anxiety and depression status and whether a scan was offered or not on patient anxiety. Anxiety did not decrease at 1 year to any statistically significant degree in the high anxiety and depression group (HADS positive) compared with the low anxiety and depression group (HADS negative).
There are serious methodological limitations in this study design which may have contributed to these negative results. First, when considering the comparison of ‘scan’ vs. ‘no scan’ groups, 12 people (16%) in the ‘no scan group’ actually received a scan within the follow up year. If indeed scanning does reduce anxiety then this contamination of the ‘no scan’ group may have reduced the effect between the groups results resulting in a non significant difference in anxiety scores between the ‘scanned’ and the ‘no scan’ group. Second, there was an inadequate sample size at 1 year follow up in each of the 4 groups which may have contributed to a Type II statistical error (missing a difference when one may exist) when comparing scan vs. no scan by anxiety and depression status. Therefore, based on the results and study limitations it is inconclusive as to whether scanning reduces anxiety.
Outcome 3: System Services
Howard et al., considered services used and system costs a secondary outcome. These were determined by examining primary care case notes at 1 year for consultation rates, symptoms, further investigations, and contact with secondary and tertiary care.
System Services
The authors report that the use of neurologist and psychiatrist services was significantly higher for those persons not offered as scan, regardless of their anxiety and depression status (P<0.001 for neurologist, and P=0.033 for psychiatrist)
Outcome 4: System Costs
System Costs
There was evidence of statistically significantly lower system costs if persons with high levels of anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale score >11) were provided with a scan (P=0.03 including inpatient costs, and 0.047 excluding inpatient costs).
Comparative Effectiveness of CT and MRI Scans
One study reported the detection rate for significant intracranial abnormalities using CT and MRI. In a cohort of 1876 persons with a non acute headache defined as any type of headache that had begun at least 4 weeks before enrolment Sempere et al. reported that the detection rate was 19/1432 (1.3%) using CT and 4/444 (0.9%) using MRI. Of 119 normal CT scans 2 (1.7%) had significant intracranial abnormality on MRI. The 2 cases were a small meningioma, and an acoustic neurinoma.
The evidence presented can be summarized as follows:
Pre-test Probability
Based on the results by Sempere et al., there is a low pre-test probability for intracranial abnormalities in persons with chronic headaches and a normal neurological exam (defined as headaches experiences for a minimum of 4 weeks). The Grade quality of evidence supporting this outcome is very low.
Likelihood Ratios
Based on the systematic review by Detsky et al., there is a statistically significant positive and negative likelihood ratio for the following clinical variables: abnormal neurological exam, undefined headache, headache aggravated by exertion or valsalva, headache with vomiting. Grade quality of evidence supporting this outcome is very low.
Based on the systematic review by Detsky et al. there is a statistically significant positive likelihood ratio but non statistically significant negative likelihood ratio for the following clinical variables: cluster headache and headache with aura. The Grade quality of evidence supporting this outcome is very low.
Based on the systematic review by Detsky et al., there is a non significant positive and negative likelihood ratio for the following clinical variables: headache with focal symptoms, new onset headache, quick onset headache, worsening headache, male gender, headache with nausea, increased headache severity, migraine type headache. The Grade quality of evidence supporting this outcome is very low.
Relief from Anxiety
Based on the RCT by Howard et al., it is inconclusive whether neuroimaging scans in persons with a chronic headache are anxiolytic. The Grade quality of evidence supporting this outcome is low.
System Services
Based on the RCT by Howard et al. scanning persons with chronic headache regardless of their anxiety and/or depression level reduces service use. The Grade quality of evidence is low.
System Costs
Based on the RCT by Howard et al., scanning persons with a score greater than 11 on the High Anxiety and Depression Scale reduces system costs. The Grade quality of evidence is moderate.
Comparative Effectiveness of CT and MRI Scans
There is sparse evidence to determine the relative effectiveness of CT compared with MRI scanning for the detection of intracranial abnormalities. The Grade quality of evidence supporting this is very low.
Economic Analysis
Ontario Perspective
Volumes for neuroimaging of the head i.e. CT and MRI scans, from the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) data set were used to investigate trends in the province for Fiscal Years (FY) 2004-2009.
Assumptions were made in order to investigate neuroimaging of the head for the indication of headache. From the literature, 27% of all CT and 13% of all MRI scans for the head were assumed to include an indication of headache. From that same retrospective chart review and personal communication with the author 16% of CT scans and 4% of MRI scans for the head were for the sole indication of headache. From the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) wait times data, 73% of all CT and 93% of all MRI scans in the province, irrespective of indication were outpatient procedures.
The expenditure for each FY reflects the volume for that year and since volumes have increased in the past 6 FYs, the expenditure has also increased with a pay-out reaching 3.0M and 2.8M for CT and MRI services of the head respectively for the indication of headache and a pay-out reaching 1.8M and 0.9M for CT and MRI services of the head respectively for the indication of headache only in FY 08/09.
Cost per Abnormal Finding
The yield of abnormal finding for a CT and MRI scan of the head for the indication of headache only is 2% and 5% respectively. Based on these yield a high-level estimate of the cost per abnormal finding with neuroimaging of the head for headache only can be calculated for each FY. In FY 08/09 there were 37,434 CT and 16,197 MRI scans of the head for headache only. These volumes would generate a yield of abnormal finding of 749 and 910 with a CT scan and MRI scan respectively. The expenditure for FY 08/09 was 1.8M and 0.9M for CT and MRI services respectively. Therefore the cost per abnormal finding would be $2,409 for CT and $957 for MRI. These cost per abnormal finding estimates were limited because they did not factor in comparators or the consequences associated with an abnormal reading or FNs. The estimates only consider the cost of the neuroimaging procedure and the yield of abnormal finding with the respective procedure.
PMCID: PMC3377587  PMID: 23074404
6.  Childhood steroid-responsive ophthalmoplegic migraine 
Ophthalmoplegic migraine (OM) is characterized by recurrent attacks of headache with paresis of ocular cranial nerves. Previously, it was classified as a variant of migraine, but recently, International Headache Classification (IHCD-II) has reclassified OM to the category of neuralgia. Presently, OM is considered a type of recurrent demyelinating cranial neuropathy. We report an adolescent girl with OM, who had been treated with steroid and showed dramatic improvement.
PMCID: PMC3173922  PMID: 21977095
Demyelinating cranial neuropathy; migraine; neuralgia; ophthalmoplegia
7.  Anatomical Alterations of the Visual Motion Processing Network in Migraine with and without Aura 
PLoS Medicine  2006;3(10):e402.
Patients suffering from migraine with aura (MWA) and migraine without aura (MWoA) show abnormalities in visual motion perception during and between attacks. Whether this represents the consequences of structural changes in motion-processing networks in migraineurs is unknown. Moreover, the diagnosis of migraine relies on patient's history, and finding differences in the brain of migraineurs might help to contribute to basic research aimed at better understanding the pathophysiology of migraine.
Methods and Findings
To investigate a common potential anatomical basis for these disturbances, we used high-resolution cortical thickness measurement and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to examine the motion-processing network in 24 migraine patients (12 with MWA and 12 MWoA) and 15 age-matched healthy controls (HCs). We found increased cortical thickness of motion-processing visual areas MT+ and V3A in migraineurs compared to HCs. Cortical thickness increases were accompanied by abnormalities of the subjacent white matter. In addition, DTI revealed that migraineurs have alterations in superior colliculus and the lateral geniculate nucleus, which are also involved in visual processing.
A structural abnormality in the network of motion-processing areas could account for, or be the result of, the cortical hyperexcitability observed in migraineurs. The finding in patients with both MWA and MWoA of thickness abnormalities in area V3A, previously described as a source in spreading changes involved in visual aura, raises the question as to whether a “silent” cortical spreading depression develops as well in MWoA. In addition, these experimental data may provide clinicians and researchers with a noninvasively acquirable migraine biomarker.
A structural abnormality in the network of motion-processing areas could account for, or be the result of, the cortical hyperexcitability seen in people who have migraine.
Editors' Summary
Migraine is a disabling brain disorder that affects more than one in ten people during their lifetimes. It is characterized by severe, recurrent headaches, often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and light sensitivity. In some migraineurs (people who have migraines), the headaches are preceded by neurological disturbances known as “aura.” These usually affect vision, causing illusions of flashing lights, zig-zag lines, or blind spots. There are many triggers for migraine attacks—including some foods, stress, and bright lights—and every migraineur has to learn what triggers his or her attacks. There is no cure for migraine, although over-the-counter painkillers can ease the symptoms and doctors can prescribe stronger remedies or drugs to reduce the frequency of attacks. Exactly what causes migraine is unclear but scientists think that, for some reason, the brains of migraineurs are hyperexcitable. That is, some nerve cells in their brains overreact when they receive electrical messages from the body. This triggers a local disturbance of brain function called “cortical spreading depression,” which, in turn, causes aura, headache, and the other symptoms of migraine.
Why Was This Study Done?
Researchers need to know more about what causes migraine to find better treatments. One clue comes from the observation that motion perception is abnormal in migraineurs, even between attacks—they can be very sensitive to visually induced motion sickness, for example. Another clue is that aura are usually visual. So could brain regions that process visual information be abnormal in people who have migraines? In this study, the researchers investigated the structure of the motion processing parts of the brain in people who have migraine with aura, in people who have migraine without aura, and in unaffected individuals to see whether there were any differences that might help them understand migraine.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used two forms of magnetic resonance imaging—a noninvasive way to produce pictures of internal organs—to examine the brains of migraineurs (when they weren't having a migraine) and healthy controls. They concentrated on two brain regions involved in motion processing known as the MT+ and V3A areas and first measured the cortical thickness of these areas—the cortex is the wrinkled layer of gray matter on the outside of the brain that processes information sent from the body. They found that the cortical thickness was increased in both of these areas in migraineurs when compared to healthy controls. There was no difference in cortical thickness between migraineurs who had aura and those who did not, but the area of cortical thickening in V3A corresponded to the source of cortical spreading depression previously identified in a person who had migraine with aura. The researchers also found differences between the white matter (the part of the brain that transfers information between different regions of the gray matter) immediately below the V3A and MT+ areas in the migraineurs and the controls but again not between the two groups of migraineurs.
What Do These Findings Mean?
This study provides new information about migraine. First, it identifies structural changes in the brains of people who have migraines. Until now, it has been thought that abnormal brain function causes migraine but that migraineurs have a normal brain structure. The observed structural differences might either account for or be caused by the hyperexcitability that triggers migraines. Because migraine runs in families, examining the brains of children of migraineurs as they grow up might indicate which of these options is correct, although it is possible that abnormalities in brain areas not examined here actually trigger migraines. Second, the study addresses a controversial question about migraine: Is migraine with aura the same as migraine without aura? The similar brain changes in both types of migraine suggest that they are one disorder. Third, the abnormalities in areas MT+ and V3A could help to explain why migraineurs have problems with visual processing even in between attacks. Finally, this study suggests that it might be possible to develop a noninvasive test to help doctors diagnose migraine.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The MedlinePlus encyclopedia has several pages on migraine
The US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke offers patient information on migraine and other headaches
The NHS Direct Online contains patient information on migraine from the UK National Health Service
MAGNUM provides information from The US National Migraine Association
The Migraine Trust is a UK charity that supports research and provides support for patients
The Migraine Aura Foundation is a site about aura that includes a section on art and aura
PMCID: PMC1609120  PMID: 17048979
8.  Selectivity in Genetic Association with Sub-classified Migraine in Women 
PLoS Genetics  2014;10(5):e1004366.
Migraine can be sub-classified not only according to presence of migraine aura (MA) or absence of migraine aura (MO), but also by additional features accompanying migraine attacks, e.g. photophobia, phonophobia, nausea, etc. all of which are formally recognized by the International Classification of Headache Disorders. It remains unclear how aura status and the other migraine features may be related to underlying migraine pathophysiology. Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified 12 independent loci at which single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are associated with migraine. Using a likelihood framework, we explored the selective association of these SNPs with migraine, sub-classified according to aura status and the other features in a large population-based cohort of women including 3,003 active migraineurs and 18,108 free of migraine. Five loci met stringent significance for association with migraine, among which four were selective for sub-classified migraine, including rs11172113 (LRP1) for MO. The number of loci associated with migraine increased to 11 at suggestive significance thresholds, including five additional selective associations for MO but none for MA. No two SNPs showed similar patterns of selective association with migraine characteristics. At one extreme, SNPs rs6790925 (near TGFBR2) and rs2274316 (MEF2D) were not associated with migraine overall, MA, or MO but were selective for migraine sub-classified by the presence of one or more of the additional migraine features. In contrast, SNP rs7577262 (TRPM8) was associated with migraine overall and showed little or no selectivity for any of the migraine characteristics. The results emphasize the multivalent nature of migraine pathophysiology and suggest that a complete understanding of the genetic influence on migraine may benefit from analyses that stratify migraine according to both aura status and the additional diagnostic features used for clinical characterization of migraine.
Author Summary
Migraine is among the most common and debilitating neurological disorders. Diagnostic criteria for migraine recognize a variety of symptoms including a primary dichotomous classification for the presence or absence of aura, typically a visual disturbance phenomenon, as well as others such as sensitivity to light or sound, and nausea, etc. We explored whether any of 12 recently discovered genetic variants associated with common migraine might have selective association for migraine sub-classified by aura status or nine additional migraine features in a population of middle-aged women including 3,003 migraineurs and 18,180 non-migraineurs. Five of the 12 genetic variants met the most stringent significance criterion for association with migraine, among which four had selective association with sub-classified migraine, including one that was selective for migraine without aura. At suggestive significance, all of the remaining genetic variants were selective for sub-classifications of migraine although no two variants showed the same pattern of selectivity. The selectivity patterns suggest very different contributions to migraine pathophysiology among the 12 loci and their implicated genes. Further, the results suggest that future discovery efforts for new migraine susceptibility loci would benefit by considering associations with sub-classified migraine toward the ultimate goals of more specific diagnosis and personalized treatment.
PMCID: PMC4031047  PMID: 24852292
9.  Migraine may be a risk factor for the development of complex regional pain syndrome 
The aim was to assess the relative frequency of migraine and the headache characteristics of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) sufferers. CRPS and migraine are chronic, often disabling pain syndromes. Recent studies suggest that headache is associated with the development of CRPS. Consecutive adults fulfilling International Association for the Study of Pain criteria for CRPS at a pain clinic were included. Demographics, medical history, and pain characteristics were obtained. Headache diagnoses were made using International Classification of Headache Disorders, 2nd edn criteria. Migraine and pain characteristics were compared in those with migraine with those without. ANOVA with Tukey post hoc tests was used to determine the significance of continuous variables and Fisher’s exact or χ2 tests for categorical variables. The expected prevalence of migraine and chronic daily headache (CDH) was calculated based on age- and gender-stratified general population estimates. Standardized morbidity ratios (SMR) were calculated by dividing the observed prevalence of migraine by the expected prevalence from the general population. The sample consisted of 124 CRPS participants. The mean age was 45.5 ± 12.0 years. Age-and gender-adjusted SMRs showed that those with CRPS were 3.6 times more likely to have migraine and nearly twice as likely to have CDH as the general population. Aura was reported in 59.7% (74/124) of participants. Of those CRPS sufferers with migraine, 61.2% (41/67) reported the onset of severe headaches before the onset of CRPS symptoms Mean age of onset of CRPS was earlier in those with migraine (34.9 ± 11.1 years) and CDH (32.5 ± 13.4 years) compared with those with no headaches (46.8 ± 14.9 years) and those with tension-type headache (TTH) (39.9 ± 9.9 years), P < 0.05. More extremities were affected by CRPS in participants with migraine (median of four extremities) compared with the combined group of those CRPS sufferers with no headaches or TTH (median 2.0 extremities), P < 0.05. The presence of static, dynamic and deep joint mechanoallodynia together was reported by more CRPS participants with migraine (72.2%) than those with no headaches or TTH (46.2%), P ≤ 0.05. Migraine may be a risk factor for CRPS and the presence of migraine may be associated with a more severe form of CRPS. Specifically: (i) migraine occurs in a greater percentage of CRPS sufferers than expected in the general population; (ii) the onset of CRPS is reported earlier in those with migraine than in those without; and (iii) CRPS symptoms are present in more extremities in those CRPS sufferers with migraine compared with those without. In addition, as we also found that the presence of aura is reported in a higher percentage of those CRPS sufferers with migraine than reported in migraineurs in the general population, further evaluation of the cardiovascular risk profile of CRPS sufferers is warranted.
PMCID: PMC3979276  PMID: 19614690
Migraine; chronic daily headache; complex regional pain syndrome; allodynia; aura
10.  Migraine: is it related to hormonal disturbances or stress? 
Common neurological syndrome (migraine without aura) is more common among women than men. Migraine is among the top 20 causes of disability. Menstruation is known to be a powerful trigger for migraine, and so is stress, but the presentation of headache is similar in both. Also, women are more vulnerable to stress as well as migraine, and this makes a complex relationship of menstruation, stress, and migraine.
This study was done to understand the association of hormonal fluctuation in menstruation and stress with common migraine.
Materials and methods
A cross-sectional comparative study was conducted in 40 young adult females, of whom 20 participants were cases of migraine without aura (18–35 years old), and the remaining 20 participants were age-matched controls. The study was done in Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi. Study participants were selected on the basis of International Headache Society (ICHD-IIA1.1) (2004) classification. Study participants with neurological disorders, chronic diseases, and disease suggestive of any hormonal disturbances were excluded. Clinically diagnosed migraine cases were asked to maintain a headache diary and to fill in the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales questionnaire. Biochemical assessment of hormonal status for thyroid-stimulating hormone, triiodothyronine, thyroxine, estrogen, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, and prolactin was also done on the second day of their menstrual cycle. We used the Mann–Whitney U test to compare hormonal levels and the χ2 test to compare anxiety- or depression-related stress among the migraine and nonmigraine groups.
Significantly higher values of prolactin were observed in cases (mean ± standard deviation, 152.7 mIU/L±30.5) compared to controls (76.1 mIU/L±8.7), with a P-value <0.001. There was no statistically significant difference observed in levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (P=0.081), estrogen (P=0.086), luteinizing hormone (P=0.091), or follicle-stimulating hormone (P=0.478). Also, anxiety with stress or depression with stress was significantly higher among the migraine group than the controls (P=0.002). Odds of any stress in migraine were higher in the migraine group than in the nonmigraine group (odds ratio 12, 95% confidence interval 2.7–53.33).
Migraine, particularly without aura, in women is mainly associated with stress-related anxiety or depression, and are more susceptible to stress in the premenstrual period.
Video abstract
PMCID: PMC4216045  PMID: 25368535
migraine; menstruation; stress
11.  Ophthalmoplegic migraine and aberrant regeneration of the oculomotor nerve. 
A patient with ophthalmoplegic migraine developed aberrant regeneration of the oculomotor nerve. This finding supports the view that the oculomotor nerve lesion in ophthalmoplegic migraine is peripheral, but its rarity suggests that the underlying mechanism may be ischaemic rather than compression by an oedematous intracavernous internal carotid artery.
PMCID: PMC1043754  PMID: 7426568
12.  Involvement of gap junction channels in the pathophysiology of migraine with aura 
Migraine is a common, recurrent, and disabling primary headache disorder with a genetic component which affects up to 20% of the population. One third of all patients with migraine experiences aura, a focal neurological disturbance that manifests itself as visual, sensitive or motor symptoms preceding the headache. In the pathophysiology of migraine with aura, activation of the trigeminovascular system from the meningeal vessels mediates migraine pain via the brainstem and projections ascend to the thalamus and cortex. Cortical spreading depression (CSD) was proposed to trigger migraine aura and to activate perivascular trigeminal nerves in the cortex. Quinine, quinidine and the derivative mefloquine are able to inhibit CSD suggesting an involvement of neuronal connexin36 channels in CSD propagation. More recently, CSD was shown to induce headache by activating the trigeminovascular system through the opening of stressed neuronal Pannexin1 channels. A novel benzopyran compound, tonabersat, was selected for clinical trial on the basis of its inhibitory activity on CSD and neurogenic inflammation in animal models of migraine. Interestingly, in the time course of animal model trials, tonabersat was shown to inhibit trigeminal ganglion (TGG) neuronal-glial cell gap junctions, suggesting that this compound could prevent peripheral sensitization within the ganglion. Three clinical trials aimed at investigating the effectiveness of tonabersat as a preventive drug were negative, and conflicting results were obtained in other trials concerning its ability to relieve attacks. In contrast, in another clinical trial, tonabersat showed a preventive effect on attacks of migraine with aura but had no efficacy on non-aura attacks. Gap junction channels seem to be involved in several ways in the pathophysiology of migraine with aura and emerge as a new promising putative target in treatment of this disorder.
PMCID: PMC3933780  PMID: 24611055
aura; connexin; cortical spreading depression; gap junction; pannexin; tonabersat; trigeminovascular
13.  Migraine pain location in adult patients from eastern India 
Sparse literature documenting the location of pain at the onset of migraine attacks and during established headaches is available.
A prospective study (2003–05) on 800 adult migraine patients (International Classifications of Headache Disorders (ICHD), 2:1.1, 1.2.1 and 1.6.1) was conducted to document (a) sites of onset of pain and (b) location of pain during established attacks (in >50% occasions) through semistructured interviews.
Results: Demography:
N = 800; M:F = 144:656 (1:4.56); age, 16–42 years (mean, 26 years); duration of migraine, 1–18 years (mean, 6.8 years). 87% of the subjects were ethnic Bengalis from the eastern Indian state of West Bengal, Calcutta being the capital city.
Migraine types:
(on the basis of >50% headache spells): N = 800; 1.1:668 (83.5%); 1.2.1:18 (2.25%); 1.6.1:114 (14.25%).
Location of pain at onset:
Unilateral onset was present in 41.38% of the patients; of these, 53.17% had eye pain; 8.16%, frontal pain and 38.67%, temporal pain. In 32.25% of the patients, bilateral/central location of pain, mostly bitemporal or at vertex was noted. Cervico-occipital pain onset was noted in 26.43% patients (predominantly occipital, 14.68%; predominantly cervical, 11.75%).
Location of established headaches:
In 47.4% of the patients, with unilateral ocular or temporal onset, pain remained at the same site. Pain became hemicranial in 32.9%. In most patients, unilateral frontal onset pain (55.5%) became bilateral or holocranial. Most bilateral ocular (69.4%) and temporal onset (69.7%) pains remained at the same location. However, most bifrontal (55.6%) and vertex onset (56.9%) pains subsequently became holocranial. Most occipital pains at onset became holocranial (45.3%), but cervical pains subsequently became either hemicranial (38.3%) or holocranial (36.2%).
This study documents location of pain at the onset and during established headaches in migraine patients largely from a specific ethnic group. Migraine with aura appears to be rare among ethnic Bengalis in eastern India. More than half had onset pain bilaterally/centrally and in the cervico-occipital regions. Only 40.5% experienced only unilateral pain. Cervico-occipital migraine pain appears to be common in ethnic Bengalis.
PMCID: PMC2771967  PMID: 19893646
Adult migraine; migraine pain; pain location
14.  Bell's palsy 
Clinical Evidence  2011;2011:1204.
Bell's palsy is characterised by an acute, unilateral, partial, or complete paralysis of the face (i.e., lower motor neurone pattern). The weakness may be partial (paresis) or complete (paralysis), and may be associated with mild pain, numbness, increased sensitivity to sound, and altered taste. Bell's palsy remains idiopathic, but a proportion of cases may be caused by reactivation of herpes viruses from the geniculate ganglion of the facial nerve. Bell's palsy is most common in people aged 15 to 40 years, with a 1 in 60 lifetime risk. Most make a spontaneous recovery within 1 month, but up to 30% show delayed or incomplete recovery.
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review to answer the following clinical question: What are the effects of treatments in adults and children? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to June 2010 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically, please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
We found 14 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.
In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: antiviral treatment, corticosteroids (alone or plus antiviral treatment), hyperbaric oxygen therapy, facial nerve decompression surgery, and facial retraining.
Key Points
Bell's palsy is an idiopathic, unilateral, acute paresis or paralysis of facial movement caused by dysfunction of the lower motor neurone. Up to 30% of people with acute peripheral facial palsy have an alternative cause diagnosed at presentation or during the course of their facial palsy. Alternative causes are higher in children (>50%), warranting specialist evaluation at presentation. Severe pain, vesicles (ear or oral), and hearing loss or imbalance, suggest Ramsay Hunt syndrome caused by herpes zoster virus infection, which requires specialist management. Most people with paresis (partial weakness) make a spontaneous recovery within 3 weeks. Up to 30% of people, typically people with paralysis (complete palsy), have a delayed or incomplete recovery.
Corticosteroids alone improve rate of recovery and the proportion of people who make a full recovery, and reduce cosmetically disabling sequelae, motor synkinesis, and autonomic dysfunction compared with placebo or no treatment.
Antiviral treatment alone is no more effective than placebo and is less effective than corticosteroid treatment at improving recovery of facial motor function and at reducing the risk of disabling sequelae.
For people with paresis at presentation (about 70%), there is no evidence of a clinically important additive effect of adding antivirals to corticosteroid therapy. For people who develop paralysis (about 30%), and may demonstrate a trend towards complete degeneration on electrophysiological testing, it is unknown whether adding antiviral treatment to corticosteroid therapy has a significant additive or synergistic effect.
Hyperbaric oxygen may improve time to recovery and the proportion of people who make a full recovery compared with corticosteroids; however, the evidence for this is weak.
We don't know whether facial nerve decompression surgery is beneficial in Bell's palsy.
Facial retraining may improve recovery of facial motor function scores including stiffness and lip mobility, and may reduce the risk of motor synkinesis in Bell's palsy, but the evidence is too weak to draw conclusions.
Clinical guide Good evidence exists that corticosteroid therapy improves facial palsy in people with Bell's palsy independent of severity at presentation. Treatment is likely to be more effective when started within 72 hours of onset, and less effective after 7 days. Contraindications to corticosteroid therapy exist and adverse effects are more likely following 7 days of treatment. Combination therapy with a corticosteroid and antiviral is no more effective than corticosteroid therapy alone for Bell's palsy; however, combination therapy should be considered when there is evidence of viral infection with herpes zoster, such as zoster sine herpete and Ramsay Hunt syndrome. People presenting with complete facial paralysis should be offered a choice of combination therapy with a corticosteroid and antiviral, because the evidence for therapy without antivirals is not yet definitive for this group and antivirals have few adverse effects. In people presenting with mild facial paresis from Bell's palsy, there is a high rate of spontaneous resolution without treatment. Bell's palsy is a diagnosis of exclusion and clinicians should remain mindful of the causes of facial palsy, including tumour and infection. All children presenting with facial palsy and adults with delayed recovery should be referred for assessment by an otolaryngologist - head and neck surgeon or other appropriate specialist. The authors believe that facial palsy should not be treated only by protocol-driven practice. Bell's palsy is a diagnosis of exclusion, although a search for other causes of facial palsy must not delay treatment of likely Bell's palsy. Patients should have the opportunity to participate in an informed choice in their management where relevant.
PMCID: PMC3275144  PMID: 21375786
15.  Classification and Clinical Features of Headache Disorders in Pakistan: A Retrospective Review of Clinical Data 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(6):e5827.
Morbidity associated with primary headache disorders is a major public health problem with an overall prevalence of 46%. Tension-type headache and migraine are the two most prevalent causes. However, headache has not been sufficiently studied as a cause of morbidity in the developing world. Literature on prevalence and classification of these disorders in South Asia is scarce. The aim of this study is to describe the classification and clinical features of headache patients who seek medical advice in Pakistan.
Methods and Results
Medical records of 255 consecutive patients who presented to a headache clinic at a tertiary care hospital were reviewed. Demographic details, onset and lifetime duration of illness, pattern of headache, associated features and family history were recorded. International Classification of Headache Disorders version 2 was applied.
66% of all patients were women and 81% of them were between 16 and 49 years of age. Migraine was the most common disorder (206 patients) followed by tension-type headache (58 patients), medication-overuse headache (6 patients) and cluster headache (4 patients). Chronic daily headache was seen in 99 patients. Patients with tension-type headache suffered from more frequent episodes of headache than patients with migraine (p<0.001). Duration of each headache episode was higher in women with menstrually related migraine (p = 0.015). Median age at presentation and at onset was lower in patients with migraine who reported a first-degree family history of the disease (p = 0.003 and p<0.001 respectively).
Patients who seek medical advice for headache in Pakistan are usually in their most productive ages. Migraine and tension-type headache are the most common clinical presentations of headache. Onset of migraine is earlier in patients with first-degree family history. Menstrually related migraine affects women with headache episodes of longer duration than other patients and it warrants special therapeutic consideration. Follow-up studies to describe epidemiology and burden of headache in Pakistan are needed.
PMCID: PMC2688080  PMID: 19503794
16.  Effect of preventive (β blocker) treatment, behavioural migraine management, or their combination on outcomes of optimised acute treatment in frequent migraine: randomised controlled trial 
Objective To determine if the addition of preventive drug treatment (β blocker), brief behavioural migraine management, or their combination improves the outcome of optimised acute treatment in the management of frequent migraine.
Design Randomised placebo controlled trial over 16 months from July 2001 to November 2005.
Setting Two outpatient sites in Ohio, USA.
Participants 232 adults (mean age 38 years; 79% female) with diagnosis of migraine with or without aura according to International Headache Society classification of headache disorders criteria, who recorded at least three migraines with disability per 30 days (mean 5.5 migraines/30 days), during an optimised run-in of acute treatment.
Interventions Addition of one of four preventive treatments to optimised acute treatment: β blocker (n=53), matched placebo (n=55), behavioural migraine management plus placebo (n=55), or behavioural migraine management plus β blocker (n=69).
Main outcome measure The primary outcome was change in migraines/30 days; secondary outcomes included change in migraine days/30 days and change in migraine specific quality of life scores.
Results Mixed model analysis showed statistically significant (P≤0.05) differences in outcomes among the four added treatments for both the primary outcome (migraines/30 days) and the two secondary outcomes (change in migraine days/30 days and change in migraine specific quality of life scores). The addition of combined β blocker and behavioural migraine management (−3.3 migraines/30 days, 95% confidence interval −3.2 to −3.5), but not the addition of β blocker alone (−2.1 migraines/30 days, −1.9 to −2.2) or behavioural migraine management alone (−2.2 migraines migraines/30 days, −2.0 to −2.4), improved outcomes compared with optimised acute treatment alone (−2.1 migraines/30 days, −1.9 to −2.2). For a clinically significant (≥50% reduction) in migraines/30 days, the number needed to treat for optimised acute treatment plus combined β blocker and behavioural migraine management was 3.1 compared with optimised acute treatment alone, 2.6 compared with optimised acute treatment plus β blocker, and 3.1 compared with optimised acute treatment plus behavioural migraine management. Results were consistent for the two secondary outcomes, and at both month 10 (the primary endpoint) and month 16.
Conclusion The addition of combined β blocker plus behavioural migraine management, but not the addition of β blocker alone or behavioural migraine management alone, improved outcomes of optimised acute treatment. Combined β blocker treatment and behavioural migraine management may improve outcomes in the treatment of frequent migraine.
Trial registration Clinical trials NCT00910689.
PMCID: PMC2947621  PMID: 20880898
17.  Headache associated with moyamoya disease: a case story and literature review 
Headache associated with moyamoya disease (HAMD) is common in moyamoya disease. However, the characteristics and classification of HAMD are largely unknown. We present a case of a 39-year-old woman with HAMD. To characterize and classify the features of this syndrome, the patient was asked to complete a 4-month diagnostic headache diary. There was a total of 15 ictal days. All episodes were without aura. The headache was more commonly pressing (10/15), mild to moderate in severity (14/15), unchanged by physical activity (11/15), and associated with photophobia (10/15). The International Headache Society Classification was utilized to determine that eight episodes met criteria for probable migraine without aura, while seven episodes met criteria for probable frequent episodic tension-type headache. We identified four other case reports of HAMD with partial descriptions of the characteristics. When combined with our patient, the median age was 34 years old (range 6–49, SD 16). Four were female, while the patient with cluster headache was male. The median time from headache onset to diagnosis with moyamoya disease was 9.5 months (range 0–192, SD 88.0). Headaches were described as migraine with aura in two of five cases, hemiplegic migraine in one of five, and cluster headache in one of five. The highest intensity was described as severe in three of three cases, in which headache intensity was reported. Meanwhile, nausea, vomiting, and photophobia were present in two of three cases, where these features were reported, while nausea without vomiting was seen in one of three cases. In all five cases, patients had other neurological symptoms, such as paresis, seizures, visual disturbances, dysarthria, allodynia, ptosis, and unilateral restless leg syndrome. In conclusion, HAMD can present as migraine without aura. It can be the first presenting symptom of moyamoya disease. The headache features are not diagnostic; hence, early neurovascular imaging should be considered in patients with new onset, refractory migraine-like headache, especially in the setting of other neurological symptoms to exclude underlying moyamoya disease. Further reports using headache diaries are needed to better characterize HAMD as well as to determine whether headache with tension-type features is also part of this condition.
PMCID: PMC3452187  PMID: 20012551
Moyamoya; Headache; Migraine; Cluster; Diagnosis
18.  Association of single nucleotide polymorphisms of CACNA1A gene in migraine 
Migraine is a chronic, neurovascular polygenic disease where genetic and environmental factors are involved in its etiology. Dysfunction of neuronal ion transportation can provide a model for predisposition for common forms of migraine. Mutations in genes encoding ion channels disturb the rhythmic function of exposed tissue that may also explain the episodic nature of migraine. Our aim was to study the single nucleotide polymorphisms of CACNA1A gene in migraine patients.
The subjects were the patients of migraine, in the age range of 18-80 years, diagnosed by a Neurologist, as per the diagnostic criteria of International Headache Society (IHS) Classification 2004 after excluding other causes of headache by clinical examination and relevant investigations.
The controls were the age and sex matched healthy persons from the same population excluding the relatives of patients. Only those patients and the controls, who voluntarily participated in the study, were taken and their blood samples were taken for the study. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) extraction was performed according to the manufacturer's protocol for Qiagen DNA extraction kits (Qiagen, Hilden, NRW, Germany). DNA content was quantified by spectrophotometric absorption (Nanodrop Spectrophotometer, BioLab, Scoresby, VIC, Australia). Polymerase chain reaction was performed using an iCycler Thermal Cycler (Bio.Rad, Hercules, CA, USA). The polymorphic analysis of CACNA1A gene was carried out by two methods: Restriction fragment length polymorphism and sequencing.
The study included a total of 25 patients of migraine, diagnosed on out-patient department basis as per IHS Classification 2004 and compared with age and sex matched 25 healthy controls. Most of the patients 23 (92%) were below the age of 50 years. 20 of the patients (80%) were females and 5 (20%) were males. The polymorphic analysis of CACNA1A gene revealed the presence of only the wild form of the gene for the codon E993V in both case and control groups.
In our study, we could not find any polymorphism of CACNA1A gene in the selected patients. Instead the wild type of genotype was found in both patients and controls. This negative result presented here, implies that if the CACNA1A gene is involved in typical migraine (with and without aura), its contribution is very modest and therefore difficult to discern. Nevertheless, there are other genes that could be considered potential candidates for typical migraine susceptibility for which further research is needed.
PMCID: PMC4065480  PMID: 24959015
CACNA1A gene; migraine; polymorphism
19.  Brief migraine episodes in children and adolescents-a modification to International Headache Society pediatric migraine (without aura) diagnostic criteria 
SpringerPlus  2013;2:77.
The international Headache Society (I H S) diagnostic criteria (International classification of headache disorders edition 2- ICHD 2) for headache in children and adults improved the accuracy of migraine diagnoses. However many short duration headaches in children, receive an atypical migraine diagnosis. This study is to diagnose children and adolescents who presented with such atypical migraines of less than one hour duration. 1402 children and adolescents aged 5 to 15 years who presented with recurrent brief activity affected head pain, were studied. Known and common migraine triggers and family history of migraine were recorded in all. All the children studied had moderate to severe headache lasting 5 to 45 minutes which forced them motionless during the attacks (thus fulfilling 2 diagnostic pain features). At least one of the ICHD2 pediatric migraine diagnostic symptoms (nausea / vomiting / photophobia / phonophobia) were present in all. Two additional features were diagnostic of brief migraines in all of them- one of the parents or siblings was a migrainer and one of the common migraine triggers as a precipitating factor. This study concludes that if duration of head pain is less than one hour ,two additional features to be included to diagnose definitive migraine in children and adolescents - one migraine parent or sibling and one of the migraine triggers precipitating the head pain.
PMCID: PMC3602609  PMID: 23526480
Brief migraines; ICHD2; Modification; Common migraine triggers family history
20.  Spectrum of complicated migraine in children: A common profile in aid to clinical diagnosis 
Complicated migraine encompasses several individual clinical syndromes of migraine. Such a syndrome in children frequently presents with various neurological symptoms in the Emergency Department. An acute presentation in the absence of headache presents a diagnostic challenge. A delay in diagnosis and treatment may have medicolegal implication. To date, there are no reports of a common clinical profile proposed in making a clinical diagnosis for the complicated migraine. In this clinical review, we propose and describe: (1) A common clinical profile in aid to clinical diagnosis for spectrum of complicated migraine; (2) How it can be used in differentiating complicated migraine from migraine without aura, migraine with aura, and seizure; (3) We discuss the status of complicated migraine in the International Headache Society classification 2013; and (4) In addition, a common treatment strategy for the spectrum of migraine has been described. To diagnose complicated migraine clinically, it is imperative to adhere with the proposed profile. This will optimize the use of investigation and will also avoid a legal implication of delay in their management. The proposed common clinical profile is incongruent with the International Headache Society 2013. Future classification should minimize the dissociation from clinically encountered syndromes and coin a single word to address collectively this subtype of migraine with an acute presentation of a common clinical profile.
PMCID: PMC4318797  PMID: 25664241
Electroencephalography; Seizure; Seizure like activity; Complicated migraine; Stroke; Magnetic resonance imaging
21.  Multiple sclerosis presenting initially with a worsening of migraine symptoms 
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disease that targets myelinated axons in the central nervous system. Headache has been reported as a subtle symptom of the onset of MS, with a variable frequency of 1.6–28.5%; however, it remains unclear whether headache is a true symptom of MS onset. Here, we report the case of a female patient who had a history of migraine without aura and experienced worsening of migraine-headache symptoms as the initial manifestation of MS. Three similar cases were reported previously; however, unlike this case, those cases had no history of migraine without aura. In our case, we excluded factors that could trigger migraine attacks, such as changes in weather, drugs, alcohol, caffeine withdrawal, stress, fatigue, lack of sleep, hormonal therapy, diet, and hunger. The patient had one episode of MS attack with the simultaneous presence of asymptomatic gadolinium-enhancing and non-enhancing lesions, including hyperintense lesions in the bilateral periventricular white matter, body of the corpus callosum, and periaqueductal grey matter, as observed on the T2-weighted images obtained at the first brain magnetic resonance imaging. In addition, after the injection of gadolinium contrast, ring enhancement over these lesions was noted in T1-weighted images, which was suggestive of active demyelination. MS was diagnosed according to the McDonald criteria (2010 revision). We conclude that MS with periaqueductal grey matter involvement may present with worsening migraine. It is important to be cautious if any secondary causes exist, especially when the patient has a history of migraine without aura. MS should be one of the differential diagnoses in young women showing a change in headache pattern or poor clinical drug response to migraine treatment accompanied by episodes of focal neurological deficit. Failure to recognize MS may lead to inappropriate treatment and worse prognosis; early diagnosis in patients with MS is essential to improve their clinical outcomes and quality of life.
PMCID: PMC3751257  PMID: 23937696
Multiple sclerosis; Headache; Migraine; Periaqueductal gray matter
22.  Psychopathology and quality of life burden in chronic daily headache: influence of migraine symptoms 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2010;11(3):247-253.
The aim of this study is to compare the psychopathology and the quality of life of chronic daily headache patients between those with migraine headache and those with tension-type headache. We enrolled 106 adults with chronic daily headache (CDH) who consulted for the first time in specialised centres. The patients were classified according to the IHS 2004 criteria and the propositions of the Headache Classification Committee (2006) with a computed algorithm: 8 had chronic migraine (without medication overuse), 18 had chronic tension-type headache (without medication overuse), 80 had medication overuse headache and among them, 43 fulfilled the criteria for the sub-group of migraine (m) MOH, and 37 the subgroup for tension-type (tt) MOH. We tested five variables: MADRS global score, HAMA psychic and somatic sub-scales, SF-36 psychic, and somatic summary components. We compared patients with migraine symptoms (CM and mMOH) to those with tension-type symptoms (CTTH and ttMOH) and neutralised pain intensity with an ANCOVA which is a priori higher in the migraine group. We failed to find any difference between migraine and tension-type groups in the MADRS global score, the HAMA psychological sub-score and the SF36 physical component summary. The HAMA somatic anxiety subscale was higher in the migraine group than in the tension-type group (F(1,103) = 10.10, p = 0.001). The SF36 mental component summary was significantly worse in the migraine as compared with the tension-type subgroup (F(1,103) = 5.758, p = 0.018). In the four CDH subgroups, all the SF36 dimension scores except one (Physical Functioning) showed a more than 20 point difference from those seen in the adjusted historical controls. Furthermore, two sub-scores were significantly more affected in the migraine group as compared to the tension-type group, the physical health bodily pain (F(1,103) = 4.51, p = 0.036) and the mental health (F(1,103) = 8.17, p = 0.005). Considering that the statistic procedure neutralises the pain intensity factor, our data suggest a particular vulnerability to somatic symptoms and a special predisposition to develop negative pain affect in migraine patients in comparison to tension-type patients.
PMCID: PMC3451907  PMID: 20383733
Psychopathology; Quality of life; Chronic daily headache; Migraine symptoms; Tension type headache symptoms
23.  Migraine and psychiatric comorbidity: a review of clinical findings 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2011;12(2):115-125.
Migraine is an extremely common disorder. The underlying mechanisms of this chronic illness interspersed with acute symptoms appear to be increasingly complex. An important aspect of migraine heterogeneity is comorbidity with other neurological diseases, cardiovascular disorders, and psychiatric illnesses. Depressive disorders are among the leading causes of disability worldwide according to WHO estimation. In this review, we have mainly considered the findings from general population studies and studies on clinical samples, in adults and children, focusing on the association between migraine and psychiatric disorders (axis I of the DSM), carried over after the first classification of IHS (1988). Though not easily comparable due to differences in methodology to reach diagnosis, general population studies generally indicate an increased risk of affective and anxiety disorders in patients with migraine, compared to non-migrainous subjects. There would also be a trend towards an association of migraine with bipolar disorder, but not with substance abuse/dependence. With respect to migraine subtypes, comorbidity mainly involves migraine with aura. Patients suffering from migraine, however, show a decreased risk of developing affective and anxiety disorders compared to patients with daily chronic headache. It would also appear that psychiatric disorders prevail in patients with chronic headache and substance use than in patients with simple migraine. The mechanisms underlying migraine psychiatric comorbidity are presently poorly understood, but this topic remains a priority for future research. Psychiatric comorbidity indeed affects migraine evolution, may lead to chronic substance use, and may change treatment strategies, eventually modifying the outcome of this important disorder.
PMCID: PMC3072482  PMID: 21210177
Migraine; Comorbidity; Psychiatric disorders; Depression; Meta-analysis
24.  Migraine and psychiatric comorbidity: a review of clinical findings 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2011;12(2):115-125.
Migraine is an extremely common disorder. The underlying mechanisms of this chronic illness interspersed with acute symptoms appear to be increasingly complex. An important aspect of migraine heterogeneity is comorbidity with other neurological diseases, cardiovascular disorders, and psychiatric illnesses. Depressive disorders are among the leading causes of disability worldwide according to WHO estimation. In this review, we have mainly considered the findings from general population studies and studies on clinical samples, in adults and children, focusing on the association between migraine and psychiatric disorders (axis I of the DSM), carried over after the first classification of IHS (1988). Though not easily comparable due to differences in methodology to reach diagnosis, general population studies generally indicate an increased risk of affective and anxiety disorders in patients with migraine, compared to non-migrainous subjects. There would also be a trend towards an association of migraine with bipolar disorder, but not with substance abuse/dependence. With respect to migraine subtypes, comorbidity mainly involves migraine with aura. Patients suffering from migraine, however, show a decreased risk of developing affective and anxiety disorders compared to patients with daily chronic headache. It would also appear that psychiatric disorders prevail in patients with chronic headache and substance use than in patients with simple migraine. The mechanisms underlying migraine psychiatric comorbidity are presently poorly understood, but this topic remains a priority for future research. Psychiatric comorbidity indeed affects migraine evolution, may lead to chronic substance use, and may change treatment strategies, eventually modifying the outcome of this important disorder.
PMCID: PMC3072482  PMID: 21210177
Migraine; Comorbidity; Psychiatric disorders; Depression; Meta-analysis
25.  Incidence and influence on referral of primary stabbing headache in an outpatient headache clinic 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2011;12-12(3):311-313.
Primary stabbing headache (PSH) is a pain, as brief, sharp, jabbing stabs, predominantly felt in the first division of trigeminal nerve. Population studies have shown that PSH is a common headache. However, most people suffer attacks of low frequency or intensity and seldom seek for medical assistance. There are few clinic-based studies of PSH, and its real influence as a primary cause for referral to neurology outpatient offices is to be determined. We aim to investigate the burden of PSH as main complaint in an outpatient headache clinic. We reviewed all patients with PSH (ICHD-II criteria), attended in an outpatient headache clinic in a tertiary hospital during a 2.5-year period (January 2008–June 2010). We considered demographic and nosological characteristics and if PSH was main cause of submission. 36 patients (26 females, 10 males) out of 725 (5%) were diagnosed of PSH. Mean age at onset 34.1 ± 2.9 years (range 10–72). Mean time from onset to diagnosis 68.8 ± 18.3 months. Twenty-four patients fulfilled ICHD-II criteria for other headaches (14 migraine, 6 tension-type headache, 2 hemicrania continua, 1 primary cough headache and 1 primary exertional headache). 77.7% of patients were submitted from primary care. In 14 patients (39%), PSH was main reason for submission, its intensity or frequency in 5 (35.7%) and fear of malignancy in 9 (74.3%). Only two patients of those who associated other headaches were submitted due to PSH. In conclusion, PSH is not an uncommon diagnosis in an outpatient headache office. However, and according to our data, it is not usually the main cause of submission to a headache clinic.
PMCID: PMC3094672  PMID: 21210176
Primary stabbing headache; Headache clinic; Primary care

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