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1.  Serious neurological disorders in children with chronic headache 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  2005;90(9):937-940.
Methods: All children presenting to a specialist headache clinic over seven years with headache as their main complaint were assessed by clinical history, physical and neurological examination, neuroimaging where indicated, and by follow up using prospective headache diaries. Results: A total of 815 children and adolescents (1.25–18.75 years of age, mean 10.8 years (SD 2.9); 432 male) were assessed. Mean duration of headache was 21.2 months (SD 21.2). Neuroimaging (brain CT or MRI) was carried out on 142 (17.5%) children. The vast majority of patients had idiopathic headache (migraine, tension, or unclassified headaches). Fifty one children (6.3%) had other chronic neurological disorders that were unrelated to the headache. The headache in three children (0.37%, 95% CI 0.08% to 1.1%) was related to active intracranial pathology which was predictable on clinical findings in two children but was unexpected until a later stage in one child (0.12%, 95% CI 0.006% to 0.68%).
Conclusions: Chronic headache in childhood is rarely due to serious intracranial pathology. Careful history and thorough clinical examination will identify most patients with serious underlying brain abnormalities. Change in headache symptomatology or personality change should lower the threshold for imaging.
doi:10.1136/adc.2004.067256
PMCID: PMC1720577  PMID: 16113128
2.  GREATER FREQUENCY OF DEPRESSION ASSOCIATED WITH CHRONIC PRIMARY HEADACHES THAN CHRONIC POST-TRAUMATIC HEADACHES 
Objective
To compare the prevalence of co-morbid depression between patients with chronic primary headache syndromes and chronic post-traumatic headaches.
Method
A prospective cross-sectional analysis of all patients presenting sequentially to a community-based general neurology clinic during a 2-year period for evaluation of chronic headache pain was conducted. Headache diagnosis was determined according to the International Headache Society’s Headache Classification criteria. Depression was determined through a combination of scores on the clinician administered Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression and patients’ self-report. An additional group of patients who suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBI) but did not develop post-traumatic headaches was included for comparison.
Results
A total of 83 patients were included in the study: 45 with chronic primary headaches (24 with chronic migraine headaches, 21 with chronic tension headaches), 24 with chronic post-traumatic headaches, and 14 with TBI but no headaches. Depression occurred less frequently among those with chronic post-traumatic headaches (33.3%) compared to those with chronic migraine (66.7%) and chronic tension (52.4%) headaches (Chi-Square = 7.68; df = 3; p = 0.053), and did not significantly differ from TBI patients without headaches. A multivariate logistic regression model using depression as the outcome variable and including headache diagnosis, gender, ethnicity, and alcohol and illicit substance use was statistically significant (Chi-Square = 27.201; df = 10; p < 0.01) and identified primary headache (migraine and tension) diagnoses (Score = 7.349; df = 1; p = 0.04) and female gender (Score = 15.281; df = 1; p < 0.01) as significant predictor variables. The overall model accurately predicted presence of co-morbid depression in 74.7% of the cases.
Conclusions
Co-morbid depression occurs less frequently among patients with chronic post-traumatic headaches and TBI without headaches than among those with chronic primary headaches.
PMCID: PMC4326262  PMID: 24066406
chronic pain; depression; headache
3.  Overview of diagnosis and management of paediatric headache. Part I: diagnosis 
Headache is the most common somatic complaint in children and adolescents. The evaluation should include detailed history of children and adolescents completed by detailed general and neurological examinations. Moreover, the possible role of psychological factors, life events and excessively stressful lifestyle in influencing recurrent headache need to be checked. The choice of laboratory tests rests on the differential diagnosis suggested by the history, the character and temporal pattern of the headache, and the physical and neurological examinations. Subjects who have any signs or symptoms of focal/progressive neurological disturbances should be investigated by neuroimaging techniques. The electroencephalogram and other neurophysiological examinations are of limited value in the routine evaluation of headaches. In a primary headache disorder, headache itself is the illness and headache is not attributed to any other disorder (e.g. migraine, tension-type headache, cluster headache and other trigeminal autonomic cephalgias). In secondary headache disorders, headache is the symptom of identifiable structural, metabolic or other abnormality. Red flags include the first or worst headache ever in the life, recent headache onset, increasing severity or frequency, occipital location, awakening from sleep because of headache, headache occurring exclusively in the morning associated with severe vomiting and headache associated with straining. Thus, the differential diagnosis between primary and secondary headaches rests mainly on clinical criteria. A thorough evaluation of headache in children and adolescents is necessary to make the correct diagnosis and initiate treatment, bearing in mind that children with headache are more likely to experience psychosocial adversity and to grow up with an excess of both headache and other physical and psychiatric symptoms and this creates an important healthcare problem for their future life.
doi:10.1007/s10194-011-0297-5
PMCID: PMC3056001  PMID: 21359874
Headache; Childhood; Paediatric headaches; Diagnosis; Epidemiology; Defining features
4.  Overview of diagnosis and management of paediatric headache. Part I: diagnosis 
Headache is the most common somatic complaint in children and adolescents. The evaluation should include detailed history of children and adolescents completed by detailed general and neurological examinations. Moreover, the possible role of psychological factors, life events and excessively stressful lifestyle in influencing recurrent headache need to be checked. The choice of laboratory tests rests on the differential diagnosis suggested by the history, the character and temporal pattern of the headache, and the physical and neurological examinations. Subjects who have any signs or symptoms of focal/progressive neurological disturbances should be investigated by neuroimaging techniques. The electroencephalogram and other neurophysiological examinations are of limited value in the routine evaluation of headaches. In a primary headache disorder, headache itself is the illness and headache is not attributed to any other disorder (e.g. migraine, tension-type headache, cluster headache and other trigeminal autonomic cephalgias). In secondary headache disorders, headache is the symptom of identifiable structural, metabolic or other abnormality. Red flags include the first or worst headache ever in the life, recent headache onset, increasing severity or frequency, occipital location, awakening from sleep because of headache, headache occurring exclusively in the morning associated with severe vomiting and headache associated with straining. Thus, the differential diagnosis between primary and secondary headaches rests mainly on clinical criteria. A thorough evaluation of headache in children and adolescents is necessary to make the correct diagnosis and initiate treatment, bearing in mind that children with headache are more likely to experience psychosocial adversity and to grow up with an excess of both headache and other physical and psychiatric symptoms and this creates an important healthcare problem for their future life.
doi:10.1007/s10194-011-0297-5
PMCID: PMC3056001  PMID: 21359874
Headache; Childhood; Paediatric headaches; Diagnosis; Epidemiology; Defining features
5.  Classification and clinical features of headache patients: an outpatient clinic study from China 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2011;12(5):561-567.
This study aimed to analyze and classify the clinical features of headache in neurological outpatients. A cross-sectional study was conducted consecutively from March to May 2010 for headache among general neurological outpatients attending the First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University. Personal interviews were carried out and a questionnaire was used to collect medical records. Diagnosis of headache was according to the International classification of headache disorders, 2nd edition (ICHD-II). Headache patients accounted for 19.5% of the general neurology clinic outpatients. A total of 843 (50.1%) patients were defined as having primary headache, 454 (27%) secondary headache, and 386 (23%) headache not otherwise specified (headache NOS). For primary headache, 401 (23.8%) had migraine, 399 (23.7%) tension-type headache (TTH), 8 (0.5%) cluster headache and 35 (2.1%) other headache types. Overall, migraine patients suffered (1) more severe headache intensity, (2) longer than 6 years of headache history and (3) more common analgesic medications use than TTH ones (p < 0.001).TTH patients had more frequent episodes of headaches than migraine patients, and typically headache frequency exceeded 15 days/month (p < 0.001); 22.8% of primary headache patients were defined as chronic daily headache. Almost 20% of outpatient visits to the general neurology department were of headache patients, predominantly primary headache of migraine and TTH. In outpatient headaches, more attention should be given to headache intensity and duration of headache history for migraine patients, while more attention to headache frequency should be given for the TTH ones.
doi:10.1007/s10194-011-0360-2
PMCID: PMC3173628  PMID: 21744226
Outpatient; Headache; Cross-sectional study; Clinical feature; Migraine
6.  Classification and clinical features of headache patients: an outpatient clinic study from China 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2011;12(5):561-567.
This study aimed to analyze and classify the clinical features of headache in neurological outpatients. A cross-sectional study was conducted consecutively from March to May 2010 for headache among general neurological outpatients attending the First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University. Personal interviews were carried out and a questionnaire was used to collect medical records. Diagnosis of headache was according to the International classification of headache disorders, 2nd edition (ICHD-II). Headache patients accounted for 19.5% of the general neurology clinic outpatients. A total of 843 (50.1%) patients were defined as having primary headache, 454 (27%) secondary headache, and 386 (23%) headache not otherwise specified (headache NOS). For primary headache, 401 (23.8%) had migraine, 399 (23.7%) tension-type headache (TTH), 8 (0.5%) cluster headache and 35 (2.1%) other headache types. Overall, migraine patients suffered (1) more severe headache intensity, (2) longer than 6 years of headache history and (3) more common analgesic medications use than TTH ones (p < 0.001).TTH patients had more frequent episodes of headaches than migraine patients, and typically headache frequency exceeded 15 days/month (p < 0.001); 22.8% of primary headache patients were defined as chronic daily headache. Almost 20% of outpatient visits to the general neurology department were of headache patients, predominantly primary headache of migraine and TTH. In outpatient headaches, more attention should be given to headache intensity and duration of headache history for migraine patients, while more attention to headache frequency should be given for the TTH ones.
doi:10.1007/s10194-011-0360-2
PMCID: PMC3173628  PMID: 21744226
Outpatient; Headache; Cross-sectional study; Clinical feature; Migraine
7.  Epigone migraine vertigo (EMV): a late migraine equivalent 
SUMMARY
Migrainous headache is determined by pathogenetic mechanisms that are also able to affect the peripheral and/or central vestibular system, so that vestibular symptoms may substitute and/or present with headache. We are convinced that there can be many different manifestations of vestibular disorders in migrainous patients, representing true different clinical entities due to their different characteristics and temporal relashionship with headache. Based on such considerations, we proposed a classification of vertigo and other vestibular disorders related to migraine, and believe that a particular variant of migraine-related vertigo should be introduced, namely "epigone migraine vertigo" (EMV): this could be a kind of late migraine equivalent, i.e. a kind of vertigo, migrainous in origin, starting late in the lifetime that substitutes, as an equivalent, pre-existing migraine headache. To clarify this particular clinical picture, we report three illustrative clinical cases among 28 patients collected during an observation period of 13 years (November 1991 - November 2004). For all patients, we collected complete personal clinical history. All patients underwent standard neurotological examination, looking for spontaneous-positional, gaze-evoked and caloric induced nystagmus, using an infrared video camera. We also performed a head shaking test (HST) and an head thrust test (HTT). Ocular motility was tested looking at saccades and smooth pursuit. To exclude other significant neurological pathologies, a brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with gadolinium was performed. During the three months after the first visit, patients were invited to keep a diary noting frequency, intensity and duration of vertigo attacks. After that period, we suggested that they use prophylactic treatment with flunarizine (5 mg per day) and/or acetylsalicylic acid (100 mg per day), or propranolol (40 mg twice a day). All patients were again recommended to note in their diary the frequency and intensity of both headache and vertigo while taking prophylactic therapy. Control visits were programmed after 4, 12 and 24 months of therapy. All patients considerably improved symptoms with therapy: 19 subjects (68%) reported complete disappearance of vestibular symptoms, while 9 (32%) considered symptoms very improved. The subjective judgement was corroborated by data from patients diaries. We conclude that EMV is a clinical variant of typical migraine-related vertigo: a migraineassociated vertigo, headache spell independent, following a headache period, during the lifetime of a patient.
PMCID: PMC3970230  PMID: 24711685
Headache; Migraine vertigo; Epigone migraine vertigo; Motion sickness; Aura
8.  Cluster headache associated with acute maxillary sinusitis 
SpringerPlus  2013;2:509.
Background
Cluster headache is a primary headache by definition not caused by any known underlying structural pathology. However, symptomatic cases have been described, for example tumours, particularly pituitary adenomas, malformations, and infections/inflammations. The evaluation of cluster headache is an issue unresolved.
Case description
I present a case of a 24-year-old patient who presented with a 4-week history of side-locked attacks of pain located in the left orbit. He satisfied the revised International Classification of Headache Disorders criteria for cluster headache. His medical and family histories were unremarkable. There was no history of headache. A diagnosis of cluster headache was made. The patient responded to symptomatic treatment. Low-dose computer tomography scan after 2 weeks displayed a left-sided acute maxillary sinusitis. The headache attacks resolved completely after treatment with antibiotics and sinus puncture.
Discussion and evaluation
Although I cannot exclude an unintentional comorbidity, in my opinion, the co-occurrence of an acute maxillary sinusitis with unilateral headache, in a hitherto headache-free man, points toward the fact that in this case the cluster headache was caused or triggered by the sinusitis. The headache attacks resolved completely after the treatment and the patient also remained headache free at the follow-up. The response of the headache to sumatriptan and other typical cluster headache medications does not exclude a secondary form. Symptomatic cluster headaches responsive to this therapy have been described. Associated cranial lesions such as infections have been reported in cluster headache patients and the attacks may be clinically indistinguishable from the primary form.
Conclusions
Neuroimaging, preferably contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging including sinuses should always be considered in patients with cluster headache despite normal neurological examination. Acute maxillary sinusitis can present as cluster headache.
doi:10.1186/2193-1801-2-509
PMCID: PMC3795873  PMID: 24133652
Cluster headache; Acute maxillary sinusitis; Secondary; Symptomatic; Infection
9.  OnabotulinumtoxinA for chronic migraine: efficacy, safety, and tolerability in patients who received all five treatment cycles in the PREEMPT clinical program 
Acta Neurologica Scandinavica  2013;129(1):61-70.
Objective
Chronic migraine (CM) is a prevalent and disabling neurological disorder. Phase III REsearch Evaluating Migraine Prophylaxis Therapy (PREEMPT) clinical program assessed efficacy and safety of onabotulinumtoxinA (BOTOX®) for prophylaxis of headaches in adults with CM. This secondary analysis assessed patients who received all five treatment cycles and completed the study.
Materials and methods
PREEMPT (two phase III studies: 24-week double-blind, placebo-controlled [DBPC], parallel-group phase, followed by 32-week open-label [OL] phase) evaluated the efficacy and safety of onabotulinumtoxinA in CM (≥15 days/month with headache lasting ≥4 h a day). Patients were randomized (1:1) to onabotulinumtoxinA or placebo every 12 weeks for two cycles, followed by onabotulinumtoxinA for three cycles. Multiple headache symptom measures were evaluated. Results for the completer (five cycles) subgroup of patients are reported.
Results
Of 1384 total PREEMPT patients, 1005 received all five treatment cycles (513 received onabotulinumtoxinA only [onabotulinumtoxinA/onabotulinumtoxinA (O/O)] and 492 received two cycles of placebo then three cycles of onabotulinumtoxinA [placebo/onabotulinumtoxinA (P/O)]). Demographics were similar between treatment groups. At Week 56, after all patients were treated with onabotulinumtoxinA, there continued to be significant between-group differences favoring the O/O vs P/O group for the following headache symptom measures: LS mean change from baseline in frequencies of headache days (−12.0 O/O, −11.1 P/O; P = 0.035), migraine days (−11.6 O/O, −10.7 P/O; P = 0.038), and moderate/severe headache days (−11.0 O/O, −10.1 P/O; P = 0.042). For other measures (cumulative hours of headache on headache days, frequency of headache episodes, and percentage with severe Headache Impact Test (HIT)-6 score, and total HIT-6 and Migraine-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire scores), there were also large mean improvements from baseline. The percent of patients with a ≥50% reduction from baseline in frequency of headache days was significantly greater for the onabotulinumtoxinA-only group at Week 56 (69.6% O/O, 62.8% P/O; P = 0.023). The treatment-related adverse event rate was 28.5% for onabotulinumtoxinA vs 12.4% for placebo in the DBPC phase and 34.8% for patients treated with onabotulinumtoxinA for all five cycles throughout the 56-week trials.
Conclusions
This subgroup analysis demonstrated improvements with onabotulinumtoxinA treatment (five cycles) vs placebo (two cycles)/onabotulinumtoxinA (three cycles) for multiple headache symptom measures and suggests that at Week 56, patients treated earlier with onabotulinumtoxinA had better outcomes. These findings demonstrate the continued need and cumulative benefit over time with continued prophylaxis, an important and clinically pragmatic observation for clinicians and patients.
doi:10.1111/ane.12171
PMCID: PMC4033567  PMID: 24107267
chronic migraine; headache; long term; onabotulinumtoxinA; PREEMPT; prophylaxis
10.  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.
doi:10.1111/j.1468-2982.2009.01916.x
PMCID: PMC3979276  PMID: 19614690
Migraine; chronic daily headache; complex regional pain syndrome; allodynia; aura
11.  Application of ICHD-II Criteria in a Headache Clinic of China 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e50898.
Background
China has the huge map and the largest population in the world. Previous studies on the prevalence and classification of headaches were conducted based on the general population, however, similar studies among the Chinese outpatient population are scarce. This study aimed to analyze the characteristics of 1843 headache patients enrolled in a North China headache clinic of the General Hospital for Chinese People's Liberation Army from October 2011 to May 2012, with the International Classification of Headache Disorders, 2nd Edition (ICHD-II).
Methods and Results
Personal interviews were carried out and a detailed questionnaire was used to collect medical records including age, sex and headache characteristics. Patients came from 28 regions of China with the median age of 40.9 (9–80) years and the female/male ratio of 1.67/1. The primary headaches (78.4%) were classified as the following: migraine (39.1%), tension-type headache (32.5%), trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias (5.3%) and other primary headache (1.5%). Among the rest patients, 12.9% were secondary headaches, 5.9% were cranial neuralgias and 2.5% were unspecified or not elsewhere classified. Fourteen point nine percent (275/1843) were given an additional diagnosis of chronic daily headache, including medication-overuse headache (MOH, 49.5%), chronic tension-type headache (CTTH, 32.7%) and chronic migraine (CM, 13.5%). The visual analogue scale (VAS) score of TTH with MOH was significantly higher than that of CTTH (6.8±2.0 vs 5.6±2.0, P<0.001). The similar result was also observed in VAS score between migraine with MOH and CM (8.0±1.5 vs 7.0±1.5, P = 0.004). The peak age at onset of TTH for male and female were both in the 3rd decade of life. However, the age distribution at onset of migraine shows an obvious sex difference, i.e. the 2nd decade for females and the 1st decade for males.
Conclusions/Significance
This study revealed the characteristics of the headache clinic outpatients in a tertiary hospital of North China that migraine is the most common diagnosis. Furthermore, most headaches in this patient population can be classified using ICHD-II criteria.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0050898
PMCID: PMC3519829  PMID: 23239993
12.  Psychosocial Correlates and Impact of Chronic Tension-type Headaches 
Headache  2000;40(1):3-16.
Objectives
To examine the psychosocial correlates of chronic tension-type headache and the impact of chronic tension-type headache on work, social functioning, and well-being.
Methods
Two hundred forty-five patients (mean age=37.0 years) with chronic tension-type headache as a primary presenting problem completed an assessment protocol as part of a larger treatment outcome study. The assessment included a structured diagnostic interview, the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form, Disability Days/Impairment Ratings, Recurrent Illness Impact Profile, Beck Depression Inventory, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory—Trait Form, Primary Care Evaluation for Mental Disorders, and the Hassles Scale Short Form. Comparisons were made with matched controls (N=89) and, secondarily, with Medical Outcomes Study data for the general population, arthritis, and back problem samples.
Results
About two thirds of those with chronic tension-type headache recorded daily or near daily (≥25 days per month) headaches with few (12%) recording headaches on less than 20 days per month. Despite the fact that patients reported that their headaches had occurred at approximately the present frequency for an average of 7 years, chronic tension-type headache sufferers were largely lapsed consulters (54% of subjects) or current consulters in primary care (81% of consulters).
Significant impairments in functioning and well-being were evident in chronic tension-type headache and were captured by each of the assessment devices. Although headache-related disability days were reported by 74% of patients (mean=7 days in previous 6 months), work or social functioning was severely impaired in only a small minority of patients. Sleep, energy level, and emotional well-being were frequently impaired with about one third of patients recording impairments in these areas on 10 or more days per month. Most patients with chronic tension-type headache continued to carry out daily life responsibilities when in pain, although role performance at times was clearly impaired by headaches and well-being was frequently impaired.
Chronic tension-type headache sufferers were 3 to 15 times more likely than matched controls to receive a diagnosis of an anxiety or mood disorder with almost half of the patients exhibiting clinically significant levels of anxiety or depression. Affective distress and severity of headaches (Headache Index) were important determinants of headache impact/impairment.
Conclusions
Chronic tension-type headache has a greater impact on individuals' lives than has generally been realized, with affective distress being an important correlate of impairment. If treatment is to remedy impairment in functioning, affective distress, as well as pain, thus needs to be addressed.
PMCID: PMC2128255  PMID: 10759896
chronic tension-type headache; disability; impairment; affective distress
13.  Personality traits in chronic daily headache patients with and without psychiatric comorbidity: an observational study in a tertiary care headache center 
Background
Previous studies suggest that patients with Chronic Daily Headache (CDH) have higher levels of anxiety and depressive disorders than patients with episodic migraine or tension-type headache. However, no study has considered the presence of psychiatric comorbidity in the analysis of personality traits. The aim of this study is to investigate the prevalence of psychiatric comorbidity and specific personality traits in CDH patients, exploring if specific personality traits are associated to headache itself or to the psychiatric comorbidity associated with headache.
Methods
An observational, cross-sectional study. Ninety-four CDH patients with and without medication overuse were included in the study and assessed by clinical psychiatric interview and Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (M.I.N.I.) as diagnostic tools. Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2), Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) were afterwards administered. Patients with and without psychiatric comorbidity were compared. Further analyses were made by splitting the whole group according to the headache diagnosis and the presence or not of medication overuse.
Results
Psychiatric comorbidity was detected in 44 patients (46.8%) (group A) and was absent in the remaining 50 patients (53.2%) (group B). Mood and anxiety disorders were the most frequently diagnosed (43.6%).
In the overall group, mean scores of MMPI-2 showed a high level in the so-called neurotic triad; in particular the mean score in the Hypochondriasis subscale was in the pathologic area (73.55 ± 13.59), while Depression and Hysteria scores were moderate but not severe (62.53 and 61.61, respectively). In content scales, score in Health Concern was also high (66.73).
Group A presented higher scores compared to Group B in the following MMPI-2 subscales: Hypochondriasis (p = .036), Depression (p = .032), Hysteria (p < .0001), Hypomania (p = .030). Group B had a high score only in the Hypochondriasis subscale. No significant differences were found between chronic migraine (CM)-probable CM (pCM) plus probable medication overuse headache (pMOH) and chronic tension-type headache (CTTH)-probable CTTH (pCTTH) plus pMOH patients or between patients with and without drug overuse.
Conclusions
The so-called “Neurotic Profile” reached clinical level only in CDH patients with psychiatric comorbidity while a high concern about their general health status was a common feature in all CDH patients.
doi:10.1186/1129-2377-14-22
PMCID: PMC3620450  PMID: 23566048
Chronic daily headache; Medication overuse headache; Psychiatric comorbidity; MMPI-2
14.  Study of psychiatric comorbidity in patients with headache using a short structured clinical interview in a rural neurology clinic in Western India 
Background:
Psychiatric disorders are common in patients attending neurology clinics with headache. Evaluation of psychiatric comorbidity in patients with headache is often missed in the busy neurology clinics.
Aims:
To assess the prevalence of Axis-I DSM-IV psychiatric disorders in patients with primary headache disorders in a rural-based tertiary neurology clinic in Western India.
Settings and Design
: A cross-sectional observation survey was conducting assessing all patients with migraine, tension-type headache and chronic daily headache attending the Neurology Clinic of Shree Krishna Hospital, a rural medical teaching hospital in Karamsad, in Gujarat in Western India.
Materials and Methods:
A total of 101 consecutive consenting adults with headache were interviewed using Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (M.I.N.I.), a structured diagnostic clinical interview to assess prevalence of Axis-I DSM-IV psychiatric disorders.
Statistical Analysis:
Descriptive statistics were calculated using SPSS software version 16 and a binomial regression model was used to study the relationship of psychiatric co-morbidity with patient-related factors.
Results:
49 out of 101 (48.5%) patients with headache suffered from depressive disorders (dysthymia or depression or suicidality), 18 out of 101 patients with headache (17.90%) suffered from anxiety related disorders (generalized anxiety disorder or agoraphobia or social phobia or panic disorder).
Conclusions:
Axis-I psychiatric disorders are a significant comorbidity among patients with headache disorders. M.I.N.I. can be used as a short, less time consuming instrument to assess all patients with headache disorders.
doi:10.4103/0976-3147.145199
PMCID: PMC4271380  PMID: 25540537
Anxiety; depression; headache; migraine; tension-type headache
15.  Cluster headache and arachnoid cyst 
SpringerPlus  2013;2:4.
Background
Cluster headache is a primary headache by definition not caused by any known underlying structural pathology. However, symptomatic cases have been described, e.g. tumours, particularly pituitary adenomas, malformations, and infections/inflammations. The evaluation of cluster headache is an issue unresolved.
Case description
We present a case of a 43-year-old patient who presented with a 2-month history of side-locked attacks of pain located in the left orbit. He satisfied the revised International Classification of Headache Disorders criteria for cluster headache. His medical and family histories were unremarkable. There was no history of headache. A diagnosis of cluster headache was made. The patient responded to symptomatic treatment. Computer tomography and enhanced magnetic resonance imaging after 1 month displayed a supra- and intrasellar arachnoid cyst with mass effect on adjacent structures. After operation, the headache attacks resolved completely.
Discussion and evaluation
Although we cannot exclude an unintentional comorbidity, in our opinion, the co-occurrence of an arachnoid cyst with mass effect with unilateral headache, in a hitherto headache-free man, points toward the fact that in this case the CH was caused or triggered by the AC. The headache attacks resolved completely after the operation and the patient also remained headache free at the follow-up. The response of the headache to sumatriptan and other typical CH medications does not exclude a secondary form. Symptomatic CHs responsive to this therapy have been described. Associated cranial lesions such as tumours have been reported in CH patients and the attacks may be clinically indistinguishable from the primary form.
Conclusions
Neuroimaging, preferably contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging should always be considered in patients with cluster headache despite normal neurological examination. Late-onset cluster headache represents a condition that requires careful evaluation. Supra- and intrasellar arachnoid cyst can present as cluster headache.
doi:10.1186/2193-1801-2-4
PMCID: PMC3568463  PMID: 23419954
Cluster headache; Arachnoid cyst; Neuroimaging; Secondary; Symptomatic; Magnetic resonance imaging; Computer tomography
16.  Anatomical Alterations of the Visual Motion Processing Network in Migraine with and without Aura 
PLoS Medicine  2006;3(10):e402.
Background
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.
Conclusions
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
Background.
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 http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0030402.
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
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0030402
PMCID: PMC1609120  PMID: 17048979
17.  Clinical features of headache patients with fibromyalgia comorbidity 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2011;12(6):629-638.
Our previous study assessed the prevalence of fibromyalgia (FM) syndrome in migraine and tension-type headache. We aimed to update our previous results, considering a larger cohort of primary headache patients who came for the first time at our tertiary headache ambulatory. A consecutive sample of 1,123 patients was screened. Frequency of FM in the main groups and types of primary headaches; discriminating factor for FM comorbidity derived from headache frequency and duration, age, anxiety, depression, headache disability, allodynia, pericranial tenderness, fatigue, quality of life and sleep, and probability of FM membership in groups; and types of primary headaches were assessed. FM was present in 174 among a total of 889 included patients. It prevailed in the tension-type headache main group (35%, p < 0.0001) and chronic tension-type headache subtype (44.3%, p < 0.0001). Headache frequency, anxiety, pericranial tenderness, poor sleep quality, and physical disability were the best discriminating variables for FM comorbidity, with 81.2% sensitivity. Patients presenting with chronic migraine and chronic tension-type headache had a higher probability of sharing the FM profile (Bonferroni test, p < 0.01). A phenotypic profile where headache frequency concurs with anxiety, sleep disturbance, and pericranial tenderness should be individuated to detect the development of diffuse pain in headache patients.
doi:10.1007/s10194-011-0377-6
PMCID: PMC3208047  PMID: 21847547
Primary headache; Fibromyalgia; Comorbidity
18.  Clinical features of headache patients with fibromyalgia comorbidity 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2011;12(6):629-638.
Our previous study assessed the prevalence of fibromyalgia (FM) syndrome in migraine and tension-type headache. We aimed to update our previous results, considering a larger cohort of primary headache patients who came for the first time at our tertiary headache ambulatory. A consecutive sample of 1,123 patients was screened. Frequency of FM in the main groups and types of primary headaches; discriminating factor for FM comorbidity derived from headache frequency and duration, age, anxiety, depression, headache disability, allodynia, pericranial tenderness, fatigue, quality of life and sleep, and probability of FM membership in groups; and types of primary headaches were assessed. FM was present in 174 among a total of 889 included patients. It prevailed in the tension-type headache main group (35%, p < 0.0001) and chronic tension-type headache subtype (44.3%, p < 0.0001). Headache frequency, anxiety, pericranial tenderness, poor sleep quality, and physical disability were the best discriminating variables for FM comorbidity, with 81.2% sensitivity. Patients presenting with chronic migraine and chronic tension-type headache had a higher probability of sharing the FM profile (Bonferroni test, p < 0.01). A phenotypic profile where headache frequency concurs with anxiety, sleep disturbance, and pericranial tenderness should be individuated to detect the development of diffuse pain in headache patients.
doi:10.1007/s10194-011-0377-6
PMCID: PMC3208047  PMID: 21847547
Primary headache; Fibromyalgia; Comorbidity
19.  Classification and Clinical Features of Headache Disorders in Pakistan: A Retrospective Review of Clinical Data 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(6):e5827.
Background
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).
Conclusions/Significance
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.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0005827
PMCID: PMC2688080  PMID: 19503794
20.  How do patients referred to neurologists for headache differ from those managed in primary care? 
Background
Headache is the neurological symptom most frequently presented to GPs and referred to neurologists, but little is known about how referred patients differ from patients managed by GPs.
Aim
To describe and compare headache patients managed in primary care with those referred to neurologists.
Design of study
Prospective study.
Setting
Eighteen general practices in south-east England.
Method
This study examined 488 eligible patients consulting GPs with primary headache over 7 weeks and 81 patients referred to neurologists over 1 year. Headache disability was measured by the Migraine Disability Assessment Score, headache impact by the Headache Impact Test, emotional distress by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and illness perception was assessed using the Illness Perception Questionnaire.
Results
Participants were 303 patients who agreed to participate. Both groups reported severe disability and very severe impact on functioning. Referred patients consulted more frequently than those not referred in the 3 months before referral (P = 0.003). There was no significant difference between GP-managed and referred groups in mean headache disability, impact, anxiety, depression, or satisfaction with care. The referred group were more likely to link an increased number of symptoms to their headaches (P = 0.01), to have stronger emotional representations of their headaches (P = 0.006), to worry more (P = 0.001), and were made anxious by their headache symptoms (P = 0.044).
Conclusion
Patients who consult for headache experience severe disability and impact, and up to a third report anxiety and/or depression. Referral is not related to clinical severity of headaches, but is associated with higher consultation frequency and patients' anxiety and concern about their headache symptoms.
PMCID: PMC2047014  PMID: 17504590
headache; migraine disorders; neurology; primary health care; referral and consultation
21.  Primary care access to computed tomography for chronic headache 
Background
The diagnostic yield of neuroimaging in chronic headache is low, but can reduce the use of health services.
Aim
To determine whether primary care access to brain computed tomography (CT) referral for chronic headache reduces referral to secondary care.
Design of study
Prospective observational analysis of GP referrals to an open access CT brain scanning service.
Setting
Primary care, and outpatient radiology and neurology departments.
Method
GPs in Tayside and North East Fife, Scotland were given access to brain CT for patients with chronic headache. All referrals were analysed prospectively over 1 year, and questionnaires were sent to referrers to establish whether imaging had resulted in or stopped a referral to secondary care. The Tayside outpatient clinic database identified scanned patients referred to the neurology clinic for headache from the start of the study period to at least 1 year after their scan.
Results
There were 232 referrals (55.1/100 000/year, 95% confidence interval = 50.4 to 59.9) from GPs in 59 (82%) of 72 primary care practices. CT was performed on 215 patients. Significant abnormalities were noted in 3 (1.4%) patients; there were 22 (10.2%) non-significant findings, and 190 (88.4%) normal scans. Questionnaires of the referring GPs reported that 167 (88%) scans stopped a referral to secondary care. GPs referred 30 (14%) scanned patients to a neurologist because of headache. It is estimated that imaging reduced referrals to secondary care by 86% in the follow-up period.
Conclusion
An open access brain CT service for patients with chronic headache was used by most GP practices in Tayside, and reduced the number of referrals to secondary care.
doi:10.3399/bjgp10X502146
PMCID: PMC2880741  PMID: 20529496
headache disorders; computed tomography; open access; primary health care
22.  Tension-type headache and sleep apnea in the general population 
The main objective of this study is to investigate the relationship between tension-type headache and obstructive sleep apnea in the general population. The method involves a cross-sectional population-based study. A random age and gender stratified sample of 40,000 persons aged 20–80 years residing in Akershus, Hedmark or Oppland County, Norway were drawn by the National Population Register. A postal questionnaire containing the Berlin Questionnaire was used to classify respondents to be of either high or low risk of obstructive sleep apnea. Included in this study were 297 persons with high risk and 134 persons with low risk of sleep apnea, aged 30–65 years. They underwent an extensive clinical interview, a physical and a neurological examination by physicians, and in-hospital polysomnography. Those with apnea hypopnoea index (AHI) ≥5 were classified with obstructive sleep apnea. Tension-type headache was diagnosed according to the International Classification of Headache Disorders. Results showed the prevalence of frequent and chronic tension-type headache was 18.7 and 2.1% in the participants with obstructive sleep apnea. The logistic regression analyses showed no significant relationship between tension-type headache and obstructive sleep apnea, with adjusted odds ratios for frequent tension-type headache of 0.95 (0.55–1.62) and chronic tension-type headache of 1.91 (0.37–9.85). The results did not change when using cut-off of moderate (AHI ≥15) and severe (AHI ≥30) obstructive sleep apnea. Thus, we did not find any significant relationship between tension-type headache and the AHI. The presence and severity of sleep apneas seem not to influence presence and attack-frequency of tension-type headache in the general population.
doi:10.1007/s10194-010-0265-5
PMCID: PMC3055994  PMID: 21161317
Tension-type headache; Frequent tension-type headache; Chronic tension-type headache; Obstructive sleep apnea; Polysomnography and epidemiology
23.  Tension-type headache and sleep apnea in the general population 
The main objective of this study is to investigate the relationship between tension-type headache and obstructive sleep apnea in the general population. The method involves a cross-sectional population-based study. A random age and gender stratified sample of 40,000 persons aged 20–80 years residing in Akershus, Hedmark or Oppland County, Norway were drawn by the National Population Register. A postal questionnaire containing the Berlin Questionnaire was used to classify respondents to be of either high or low risk of obstructive sleep apnea. Included in this study were 297 persons with high risk and 134 persons with low risk of sleep apnea, aged 30–65 years. They underwent an extensive clinical interview, a physical and a neurological examination by physicians, and in-hospital polysomnography. Those with apnea hypopnoea index (AHI) ≥5 were classified with obstructive sleep apnea. Tension-type headache was diagnosed according to the International Classification of Headache Disorders. Results showed the prevalence of frequent and chronic tension-type headache was 18.7 and 2.1% in the participants with obstructive sleep apnea. The logistic regression analyses showed no significant relationship between tension-type headache and obstructive sleep apnea, with adjusted odds ratios for frequent tension-type headache of 0.95 (0.55–1.62) and chronic tension-type headache of 1.91 (0.37–9.85). The results did not change when using cut-off of moderate (AHI ≥15) and severe (AHI ≥30) obstructive sleep apnea. Thus, we did not find any significant relationship between tension-type headache and the AHI. The presence and severity of sleep apneas seem not to influence presence and attack-frequency of tension-type headache in the general population.
doi:10.1007/s10194-010-0265-5
PMCID: PMC3055994  PMID: 21161317
Tension-type headache; Frequent tension-type headache; Chronic tension-type headache; Obstructive sleep apnea; Polysomnography and epidemiology
24.  Anxiety, depression and behavioral problems among adolescents with recurrent headache: the Young-HUNT study 
Background
It is well documented that both anxiety and depression are associated with headache, but there is limited knowledge regarding the relation between recurrent primary headaches and symptoms of anxiety and depression as well as behavioral problems among adolescents. Assessment of co-morbid disorders is important in order to improve the management of adolescents with recurrent headaches. Thus the main purpose of the present study was to assess the relationship of recurrent headache with anxiety and depressive symptoms and behavioral problems in a large population based cross-sectional survey among adolescents in Norway.
Methods
A cross-sectional, population-based study was conducted in Norway from 1995 to 1997 (Young-HUNT1). In Young-HUNT1, 4872 adolescents aged 12 to 17 years were interviewed about their headache complaints and completed a comprehensive questionnaire that included assessment of symptoms of anxiety and depression and behavioral problems, i.e. conduct and attention difficulties.
Results
In adjusted multivariate analyses among adolescents aged 12–14 years, recurrent headache was associated with symptoms of anxiety and depression (OR: 2.05, 95% CI: 1.61-2.61, p < 0.001), but not with behavioral problems. A significant association with anxiety and depressive symptoms was evident for all headache categories; i.e. migraine, tension-type headache and non-classifiable headache. Among adolescents aged 15–17 years there was a significant association between recurrent headache and symptoms of anxiety and depression (OR: 1.64, 95% CI: 1.39-1.93, p < 0,001) and attention difficulties (OR: 1.25, 95% CI: 1.09-1.44, p =0.001). For migraine there was a significant association with both anxiety and depressive symptoms and attention difficulties, while tension-type headache was significantly associated only with symptoms of anxiety and depression. Non-classifiable headache was associated with attention difficulties and conduct difficulties, but not with anxiety and depressive symptoms. Headache frequency was significantly associated with increasing symptoms scores for anxiety and depressive symptoms as well as attention difficulties, evident for both age groups.
Conclusions
The results from the present study indicate that both anxiety and depressive symptoms and behavioral problems are associated with recurrent headache, and should accordingly be considered a part of the clinical assessment of children and adolescents with headache. Identification of these associated factors and addressing them in interventions may improve headache management.
doi:10.1186/1129-2377-15-38
PMCID: PMC4062897  PMID: 24925252
Recurrent headache; Migraine; Tension-type headache; Anxiety; Depression; Behavioral problems; Conduct difficulties; Attention difficulties; Adolescents
25.  Etiopathophysiological assessment of cases with chronic daily headache: A functional magnetic resonance imaging included investigation 
Iranian Journal of Neurology  2012;11(4):127-134.
Background
Chronic daily headache (CDH) has gained little attention in functional neuro-imaging. When no structural abnormality is found in CDH, defining functional correlates between activated brain regions during headache bouts may provide unique insights towards understanding the pathophysiology of this type of headache.
Methods
We recruited four CDH cases for comprehensive assessments, including history taking, physical examinations and neuropsychological evaluations (The Addenbrooke's Cognitive Evaluation, Beck's Anxiety and Depression Inventories, Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index and Epworth Sleepiness Scale). Visual analogue scale (VAS) was used to self-rate the intensity of headache. Patients then underwent electroencephalography (EEG), transcranial Doppler (TCD) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) evaluations during maximal (VAS = 8-10/10) and off-headache (VAS = 0-3/10) conditions. Data were used to compare in both conditions. We also used BOLD (blood oxygen level dependent) -group level activation map fMRI to possibly locate headache-related activated brain regions.
Results
General and neurological examinations as well as conventional MRIs were unremarkable. Neuropsychological assessments showed moderate anxiety and depression in one patient and minimal in others. Unlike three patients, maximal and off-headache TCD evaluation in one revealed increased middle cerebral artery blood flow velocity, at the maximal pain area. Although with no seizure history, the same patient's EEG showed paroxysmal epileptic discharges during maximal headache intensity, respectively. Group level activation map fMRI showed activated classical pain matrix regions upon headache bouts (periaqueductal grey, substantia nigra and raphe nucleus), and markedly bilateral occipital lobes activation.
Conclusion
The EEG changes were of note. Furthermore, the increased BOLD signals in areas outside the classical pain matrix (i.e. occipital lobes) during maximal headaches may suggest that activation of these areas can be linked to the increased neural activity or visual cortex hyperexcitability in response to visual stimuli. These findings can introduce new perspective towards more in-depth functional imaging studies in headaches of poorly understood pathophysiology.
PMCID: PMC3829261  PMID: 24250881
Chronic Daily Headache; Functional MRI; Pathophysiology; Neuropsychology; Electroencephalography; TCD

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