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1.  Neuroimaging for the Evaluation of Chronic Headaches 
Executive Summary
Objective
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%.
Neuroimaging
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
2005-present
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
Effectiveness
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
Anxiety
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.
Summary
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
2.  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
3.  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.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1004366
PMCID: PMC4031047  PMID: 24852292
4.  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
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.  Pediatric migraine and episodic syndromes that may be associated with migraine 
Importance
Migraine is a common disorder and a frequent cause of medical consultation in children. Many childhood episodic syndromes have been described as common precursors of migraine.
Objective
To review current knowledge on migraine and childhood episodic syndromes, and to discuss future directions for research and clinical practice.
Findings
For most children it is difficult to describe a headache and fully verbalize symptoms such as photophobia and phonophobia that must be inferred from behaviour. Classical migraine features are rare before the age of 6 years, but some migraine-related syndromes have been described. Benign paroxysmal torticollis of infancy, benign paroxysmal vertigo of childhood, cyclic vomiting syndrome and abdominal migraine are currently classified as childhood episodic syndromes, and therefore common precursors of migraine. A strong association between infantile colic and migraine has recently been reported. There are similarities between children with episodic syndromes and children with migraine, regarding social and demographic factors, precipitating and relieving factors, and accompanying gastrointestinal, neurologic, and vasomotor features. The real pathophysiological mechanisms of migraine are not fully understood. Current data obtained through molecular and functional studies provide a complex model in which vascular and neurologic events cooperate in the pathogenesis of migraine attacks. Genetic factors causing disturbances in neuronal ion channels, make a migraineur more sensitive to multiple trigger factors that activate the nociception cascade. The expanding knowledge on migraine genetics and pathophysiology may be applicable to childhood episodic syndromes. Migraine preventive strategies are particularly important in children, and could be beneficial in childhood episodic syndromes. Nonspecific analgesics like ibuprofen and acetaminophen are widely used in pediatrics to control pain and have been found to be effective also in the treatment of acute migraine attacks. Triptans are the specific fist-line drugs for acute migraine treatment.
Conclusions and relevance
Migraine phenotype differs somewhat in the developing brain, and childhood episodic syndromes may arise before typical migraine headache. Diagnosing pediatric migraine may be difficult because of children’s language and cognitive abilities. The risk of underestimating migraine in pediatric age is high. An adequate diagnosis is important to maintain a good quality of life and to avoid inappropriate therapy.
doi:10.1186/s13052-014-0092-4
PMCID: PMC4239406  PMID: 25407042
Infantile colic; Migraine; Cyclic vomiting; Recurrent abdominal pain; Functional abdominal pain; Torticollis
7.  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.
doi:10.1007/s10194-009-0181-8
PMCID: PMC3452187  PMID: 20012551
Moyamoya; Headache; Migraine; Cluster; Diagnosis
8.  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
9.  Migraine and tension-type headache treated with stromal vascular fraction: a case series 
Introduction
Chronic migraines and tension-type headaches are debilitating diseases affecting 1.4 to 2.2% of the population with both quality of life and economic implications. To date, the pain associated with migraine and tension-type headaches has been controlled with a range of medications, with varying levels of success. In addition, the side-effect profile of these medications, as well as their potential for addiction, has been a cause for concern for both patients and physicians.
Case presentations
Four women with long histories of migraine or frequent tension-type headache that meet the International Classification of Headache Disorders criteria for Chronic Migraine or Tension-type Headaches were given a systemic treatment(s) of autologous stromal vascular fraction or autologous ‘StroMed’ isolated from lipoaspirate. StroMed is stromal vascular fraction cells prepared by ultrasonic cavitation. Two of the four patients, both of whom are Arab women aged 40 and 36 years, ceased having migraines after 1 month, for a period of 12 to 18 months. The third patient, a Slavic woman aged 43 years, had a significant decrease in the frequency and severity of migraines with only seven migraines over 18 months. The fourth patient, an Asian woman aged 44 years, obtained a temporary decrease for a period of a month and was retreated 18 months later and has been free of migraines to date for 1 month. Pain medication was typically reduced from prescribed opioid analgesia to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and paracetamol.
Conclusions
This case series is the first to provide evidence of the efficacy of autologous StroMed and stromal vascular fraction in the treatment of migraine and tension-type headache. The treatment of this disease by stromal vascular fraction adds a new dimension to its clinical applicability and suggests a relatively simple treatment that may help address the symptoms of the disease. Given what is known about the components of the stromal vascular fraction and how they act, the information presented in this case series may also further our knowledge of the etiology and pathophysiology of migraine and tension-type headaches. This treatment is simple, looks to be extremely effective and has been life changing for these patients.
doi:10.1186/1752-1947-8-237
PMCID: PMC4088303  PMID: 24981130
Headache; Mesenchymal stem cells; Migraine; Stromal vascular fraction; StroMed; SVF
10.  Migraine aura or transient ischemic attacks? A five-year follow-up case-control study of women with transient central nervous system disorders in pregnancy 
BMC Medicine  2007;5:19.
Background
Migraine aura may be difficult to differentiate from transient ischemic attacks and other transient neurological disorders in pregnant women. The aims of the present study were to investigate and diagnose all pregnant women with transient neurological disorders of suspected central nervous system origin, and to compare this group with a control group of pregnant women with regard to vascular risk factors and prognosis.
Methods
During a 28 month period, 41 patients were detected with transient neurological symptoms during pregnancy. These were studied in detail with thorough clinical and laboratory investigations in order to make a certain diagnosis and to evaluate whether the episodes might be of a vascular nature. For comparison, the same investigations were performed in 41 pregnant controls. To assess the prognosis, both patients and controls were followed with questionnaires every year for five years.
Results
Migraine with aura was the most common cause of symptoms during pregnancy, occurring in 34 patients, while 2 were diagnosed with stroke, 2 with carpal tunnel syndrome, 1 with partial epilepsy, 1 with multiple sclerosis and 1 with presyncope. Patients had more headache before pregnancy than controls, but the average levels of vascular risk factors were similar. None of the patients or the controls reported cerebrovascular episodes during the five-year follow-up.
Conclusion
The diagnosis of migraine aura was difficult because for many patients it was their first ever attack and headache tended to be absent or of non-migraineous type. The aura features were more complex, with several aura symptoms and a higher prevalence of sensory and dysphasic aura than usual. Gradually developing aura symptoms, or different aura symptoms occurring in succession as described in the International Classification of Headache Disorders, seem to be useful for differentiating aura from other transient disorders. A meticulous history and clinical neurological examination are more useful than routine supplementary investigations for cerebrovascular disease. The five-year follow-up clearly indicates that migraine with aura in pregnancy usually has a good prognosis with regard to cerebrovascular events.
doi:10.1186/1741-7015-5-19
PMCID: PMC1939710  PMID: 17640340
11.  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
12.  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.
doi:10.1007/s10194-010-0208-1
PMCID: PMC3451907  PMID: 20383733
Psychopathology; Quality of life; Chronic daily headache; Migraine symptoms; Tension type headache symptoms
13.  Migraine and Tension-Type Headache in Children and Adolescents Presenting to Neurology Clinics 
Iranian Journal of Pediatrics  2013;23(5):536-540.
Objective
Headache is one of the most common neurologic problems in children and adolescents. Primary headache including migraine and tension-type headache comprises the vast majority of headaches and are associated with marked incidence, prevalence, and individual and social cost. We aimed to assess demographic characteristics and to compare some factors related to primary headaches in children/ adolescents presented to neurology clinics of Tabriz University of Medical Sciences.
Methods
Children from 4 to 15 years of age with the diagnosis of primary headache (migraine or tension-type headaches) who presented to the neurology clinics affiliated to Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran from March 2009 to October 2011 are included in this cross-sectional study. Data regarding the type of headache, history of atopy, peripartum asphyxia, and breast feeding, family history of headache and the socioeconomic status of the family were collected. The diagnosis was based on the international headache society diagnostic criteria for the primary headache disorders.
Findings
One hundred ninety children (107 females) with primary headache (88 patients with migraine and 102 patients with tension type headache) enrolled in the study. Peripartum asphyxia, history of atopy, family history of headache and low socioeconomic status (SES) were more common in patients with migraine (P-values: 0.007, 0.01, 0.001, 0.003; respectively).
Conclusion
Physicians need to extent their knowledge regarding the primary headaches. Peripartum asphyxia, history of atopy, headache in parents and low SES have been shown in the present study to be more prevalent in patients with migraine as compared to tension-type headache.
PMCID: PMC4006502  PMID: 24800013
Asphyxia; Atopy; Children; Migraine; Tension-Type Headache
14.  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
15.  Headache, anxiety and depressive disorders: the HADAS study 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2010;11(2):141-150.
The objective of this paper was to assess prevalence and characteristics of anxiety and depression in migraine without aura and tension-type headache, either isolated or in combination. Although the association between headache and psychiatric disorders is undisputed, patients with migraine and/or tension-type headache have been frequently investigated in different settings and using different tests, which prevents meaningful comparisons. Psychiatric comorbidity was tested through structured interview and the MINI inventory in 158 adults with migraine without aura and in 216 persons with tension-type headache or migraine plus tension-type headache. 49 patients reported psychiatric disorders: migraine 10.9%, tension-type headache 12.8%, and migraine plus tension-type headache 21.4%. The MINI detected a depressive episode in 59.9, 67.0, and 69.6% of cases. Values were 18.4, 19.3, and 18.4% for anxiety, 12.7, 5.5, and 14.2%, for panic disorder and 2.3, 1.1 and 9.4% (p = 0.009) for obsessive–compulsive disorder. Multivariate analysis showed panic disorder prevailing in migraine compared with the other groups (OR 2.9; 95% CI 1.2–7.0). The association was higher (OR 6.3; 95% CI 1.4–28.5) when migraine (with or without tension-type headache) was compared to pure tension-type headache. This also applied to obsessive–compulsive disorder (OR 4.8; 95% CI 1.1–20.9) in migraine plus tension-type headache. Psychopathology of primary headache can reflect shared risk factors, pathophysiologic mechanisms, and disease burden.
doi:10.1007/s10194-010-0187-2
PMCID: PMC3452290  PMID: 20108021
Migraine; Tension-type headache; Depression; Anxiety; Prevalence
16.  One-year prevalence and the impact of migraine and tension-type headache in Turkey: a nationwide home-based study in adults 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2012;13(2):147-157.
Several studies have shown that the prevalence of migraine and tension-type headache (TTH) varied between different geographical regions. Therefore, there is a need of a nationwide prevalence study for headache in our country, located between Asia and Europe. This nationwide study was designed to estimate the 1-year prevalence of migraine and TTH and analyse the clinical features, the impact as well as the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the participant households in Turkey. We planned to investigate 6,000 representative households in 21 cities of Turkey; and a total of 5,323 households (response rate of 89%) aged between 18 and 65 years were examined for headache by 33 trained physicians at home on the basis of the diagnostic criteria of the second edition of the International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD-II). The electronically registered questionnaire was based on the headache features, the associated symptoms, demographic and socio-economic situation and history. Of 5,323 participants (48.8% women; mean age 35.9 ± 12 years) 44.6% reported recurrent headaches during the last 1 year and 871 were diagnosed with migraine at a prevalence rate of 16.4% (8.5% in men and 24.6% in women), whereas only 270 were diagnosed with TTH at a prevalence rate of 5.1% (5.7% in men and 4.5% in women). The 1-year prevalence of probable migraine was 12.4% and probable TTH was 9.5% additionally. The rate of migraine with aura among migraineurs was 21.5%. The prevalence of migraine was highest among 35–40-year-old women while there were no differences in age groups among men and in TTH overall. More than 2/3 of migraineurs had ever consulted a physician whereas only 1/3 of patients with TTH had ever consulted a physician. For women, the migraine prevalence was higher among the ones with a lower income, while among men, it did not show any change by income. Migraine prevalence was lower in those with a lower educational status compared to those with a high educational status. Chronic daily headache was present in 3.3% and the prevalence of medication overuse headache was 2.1% in our population. There was an important impact of migraine with a monthly frequency of 5.9 ± 6, and an attack duration of 35.1 ± 72 h, but only 4.9% were on prophylactic treatment. The one-year prevalence of migraine estimated as 16.4% was similar or even higher than world-wide reported migraine prevalence figures and identical to a previous nation-wide study conducted in 1998, whereas the TTH prevalence was much lower using the same methodology with the ICHD-II criteria.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10194-011-0414-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s10194-011-0414-5
PMCID: PMC3274583  PMID: 22246025
Prevalence of migraine; Prevalence of tension-type headache; Migraine; Tension-type headache; Headache
17.  One-year prevalence and the impact of migraine and tension-type headache in Turkey: a nationwide home-based study in adults 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2012;13(2):147-157.
Several studies have shown that the prevalence of migraine and tension-type headache (TTH) varied between different geographical regions. Therefore, there is a need of a nationwide prevalence study for headache in our country, located between Asia and Europe. This nationwide study was designed to estimate the 1-year prevalence of migraine and TTH and analyse the clinical features, the impact as well as the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the participant households in Turkey. We planned to investigate 6,000 representative households in 21 cities of Turkey; and a total of 5,323 households (response rate of 89%) aged between 18 and 65 years were examined for headache by 33 trained physicians at home on the basis of the diagnostic criteria of the second edition of the International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD-II). The electronically registered questionnaire was based on the headache features, the associated symptoms, demographic and socio-economic situation and history. Of 5,323 participants (48.8% women; mean age 35.9 ± 12 years) 44.6% reported recurrent headaches during the last 1 year and 871 were diagnosed with migraine at a prevalence rate of 16.4% (8.5% in men and 24.6% in women), whereas only 270 were diagnosed with TTH at a prevalence rate of 5.1% (5.7% in men and 4.5% in women). The 1-year prevalence of probable migraine was 12.4% and probable TTH was 9.5% additionally. The rate of migraine with aura among migraineurs was 21.5%. The prevalence of migraine was highest among 35–40-year-old women while there were no differences in age groups among men and in TTH overall. More than 2/3 of migraineurs had ever consulted a physician whereas only 1/3 of patients with TTH had ever consulted a physician. For women, the migraine prevalence was higher among the ones with a lower income, while among men, it did not show any change by income. Migraine prevalence was lower in those with a lower educational status compared to those with a high educational status. Chronic daily headache was present in 3.3% and the prevalence of medication overuse headache was 2.1% in our population. There was an important impact of migraine with a monthly frequency of 5.9 ± 6, and an attack duration of 35.1 ± 72 h, but only 4.9% were on prophylactic treatment. The one-year prevalence of migraine estimated as 16.4% was similar or even higher than world-wide reported migraine prevalence figures and identical to a previous nation-wide study conducted in 1998, whereas the TTH prevalence was much lower using the same methodology with the ICHD-II criteria.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10194-011-0414-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s10194-011-0414-5
PMCID: PMC3274583  PMID: 22246025
Prevalence of migraine; Prevalence of tension-type headache; Migraine; Tension-type headache; Headache
18.  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.
doi:10.1007/s10194-010-0282-4
PMCID: PMC3072482  PMID: 21210177
Migraine; Comorbidity; Psychiatric disorders; Depression; Meta-analysis
19.  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.
doi:10.1007/s10194-010-0282-4
PMCID: PMC3072482  PMID: 21210177
Migraine; Comorbidity; Psychiatric disorders; Depression; Meta-analysis
20.  Impact of headache on sickness absence and utilisation of medical services: a Danish population study. 
STUDY OBJECTIVE--The aim was to study the extent and type of health service utilisation, medication habits, and sickness absence due to the primary headaches. DESIGN--This was a cross sectional epidemiological survey of headache disorders in a general population. Headache was diagnosed according to a structured interview and a neurological examination using the criteria of the International Headache Society. SETTING--A random sample of 25-64 year-old individuals was drawn from the Danish National Central Person Registry. All subjects were living in the Copenhagen County. PARTICIPANTS--740 subjects participated (76% of the sample); 119 had migraine and 578 had tension type headache. MAIN RESULTS--Among subjects with migraine 56% had, at some time, consulted their general practitioner because of the migraine. The corresponding percentage among subjects with tension type headache was 16. One or more specialists had been consulted by 16% of migraine sufferers and by 4% of subjects with tension type headache. The consultation rates of chiropractors and physiotherapists were 5-8%. Hospital admissions and supplementary laboratory investigations due to headache were rare (< 3%). Half of the migraine sufferers and 83% of subjects with tension type headache in the previous year had managed with at least one type of drug in the current year. Acetylsalicylic acid preparations and paracetamol were the most commonly used analgesics. Prophylaxis of migraine was used by 7%. In the preceding year 43% of employed migraine sufferers and 12% of employed subjects with tension type headache had missed one or more days of work because of headache. Most common was 1-7 days off work. The total loss of workdays per year due to migraine in the general population was estimated at 270 days per 1000 persons. For tension type headache the corresponding figure was 820. Women were more likely to consult a practitioner than men, whereas no significant sex difference emerged as regards absenteeism from work. CONCLUSIONS--The impact of the headache disorders on work performance in the general population is substantial, and the disorders merit increased attention.
PMCID: PMC1059617  PMID: 1431724
21.  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.
doi:10.5409/wjcp.v4.i1.1
PMCID: PMC4318797  PMID: 25664241
Electroencephalography; Seizure; Seizure like activity; Complicated migraine; Stroke; Magnetic resonance imaging
22.  The relation of sexual function to migraine-related disability, depression and anxiety in patients with migraine 
Background
Depression and anxiety are two phenomena that affect quality of life as well as sexual function. Depression and anxiety levels are reported to be high in migraine sufferers. We aimed to understand whether sexual function in women with migraine was associated to migraine-related disability and frequency of migraine attacks, and whether this relationship was modulated by depressive and anxiety symptoms.
Methods
As migraine is more commonly seen in females, a total of 50 women with migraine were included. The diagnosis of migraine with or without aura was confirmed by two specialists in Neurology, according to the second edition of International Headache Society (IHS) International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD-II) in 2004. Migraine disability assessment scale score, female sexual function index scores, Beck depression inventory score and Beck anxiety inventory scores.
Results
Mean MIDAS score was 19.3 ± 12.8, and mean number of migraine attacks per month were 4.3 ± 2.7. Mean Female Sexual Function Index score was 20.9 ± 5.9 and 90% of patients had sexual dysfunction. Sexual dysfunction was not related to MIDAS score or frequency and severity of attacks. No relationship between sexual function and anxiety was found, whereas severity of depressive symptoms was closely related to sexual function. Depressive symptoms affected all dimensions of sexual function, except for pain.
Conclusion
Sexual dysfunction seemed to be very common in our patients with migraine, while not related to migraine related disability, frequency of attacks and migraine severity or anxiety. The most important factor that predicted sexual function was depression, which was also independent of disease severity and migraine related disability. While future larger scale studies are needed to clarify the exact relationship, depressive and sexual problems should be properly addressed in all patients with migraine, regardless of disease severity or disability.
doi:10.1186/1129-2377-15-32
PMCID: PMC4046390  PMID: 24884652
Migraine; Sexual dysfunction; Migraine related disability; Depression; Anxiety
23.  Comparison of oxidative stress among migraineurs, tension-type headache subjects, and a control group 
Background:
A primary headache, particularly migraine, is associated with oxidative stress during the attack. However, data regarding the interictal state in migraineurs and in those with tension-type headache (TTH) is limited.
Objectives:
(1) To assess the oxidative stress in migraineurs and TTH subjects in between the episodes and (2) to see if there is a difference in the degree of oxidative stress in the different subtypes of migraine and TTH.
Materials and Methods:
Fifty migraineurs, 50 patients with TTH, and 50 control subjects were included in this study after screening for the exclusion criteria. Diagnosis of headache was made according to the International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD)-2 criteria. A venous blood sample was collected from the antecubital vein at least 3 days after the last attack of headache. The sample was centrifuged immediately and the plasma was stored at –70°C. The ferric reducing activity of plasma (FRAP) and the malondialdehyde (MDA) levels were assessed using colorimetric methods. Statistical analysis was done with the help of SPSS for Windows, v 11.0. One way ANOVA with post hoc Tukey test, independent sample t test, univariate regression, and multivariate regression analysis were done as indicated.
Results:
Migraineurs had higher values of MDA and FRAP than the subjects in the other two groups (P<0.001). No difference was observed between the TTH group and the control group. FRAP levels were significantly higher in subjects who had mixed migraine (migraine with aura and without aura) as compared to those with only migraine without aura (mean difference 196.1; 95% CI = 27.3 to 364.9; P = 0.01). Similarly, oxidative stress was significantly higher in patients with episodic TTH as compared to those with chronic TTH (FRAP t = 3.16; P = 0.003 and MDA t = 2.75; P = 0.008).
Conclusions:
This study suggests that oxidative stress continues even between headache episodes in migraineurs but not in those with TTH. This could probably be consequent to the different pathophysiological mechanisms of TTH and migraine.
doi:10.4103/0972-2327.56316
PMCID: PMC2824933  PMID: 20174497
Migraine; tension type headache; oxidative stress; ferric reducing activity of plasma; malondialdehyde
24.  Headaches in Multiple Sclerosis Patients Might Imply an Inflammatorial Process 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e69570.
Recent studies on Multiple Sclerosis (MS) pathology mention the involvement of “tertiary B cell follicles” in MS pathogenesis. This inflammatory process, which occurs with interindividually great variance, might be a link between MS pathology and headaches. The aim of this study was to detect the prevalence of headaches and of subtypes of headaches (migraine, cluster, tension-type headache [TTH]) in an unselected MS collective and to compile possibly influencing factors. Unselected MS patients (n = 180) with and without headache were examined by a semi-structured interview using a questionnaire about headache, depression and the health status. Additionally clinical MS data (expanded disability state score [EDSS], MS course, medication, disease duration) were gathered. N = 98 MS patients (55.4%) reported headaches in the previous 4 weeks. We subsequently grouped headache patients according to the IHS criteria and detected 16 (16.3%) MS patients suffering from migraine (migraine with aura: 2 [2%]; migraine without aura: 14 [14.3%]), 23 (23.5%) suffering from TTH and none with a cluster headache. Thus, headaches of 59 (60.2%) MS patients remained unclassified. When comparing MS patients with and without headaches significant differences in age, gender, MS course, physical functioning, pain and social functioning occurred. MS patients with headaches were significantly younger of age (p = 0.001), female (p = 0.001) and reported more often of a clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) and relapsing/remitting MS (RRMS) instead of secondary chronic progressive MS (SCP). EDSS was significantly lower in MS patients suffering from headaches compared to the MS patients without headaches (p = 0.001). In conclusion headache in MS patients is a relevant symptom, especially in early stages of the MS disease. Especially unclassified headache seems to represent an important symptom in MS course and requires increased attention.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069570
PMCID: PMC3734145  PMID: 23940524
25.  Course of adolescent headache: 4-year annual face-to-face follow-up study 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2010;11(4):327-334.
The objective of this study is to investigate the course of the diagnosis and characteristics of headache in 12- to 17-year-old adolescents during a follow-up period of 4 years. Headache prevalence and characteristics, and even the type of headache show important changes during adolescence. The course of adolescent headache might reveal important insight into the pathophysiology of headache. Subjects who received a single headache diagnosis were invited to participate in a follow-up study consisting of annual face-to-face evaluation of the subjects for 4 years. Subjects who had only one type of headache and who agreed to participate were included in the study. Each subject had four annual semi-structured interviews with a neurology resident. The International Classification of Headache Disorders second edition was used for case definitions. A total of 87 subjects completed the study: 64 girls (73.56%) and 23 boys (26.44%) (p = 0.016). The headache type included migraine in 50 adolescents (57.47%), tension type headache in 24 (27.59%), secondary headache in 5 (5.7%), and non-classifiable headache in 8 (9.2%). Headache has not remitted in any of the subjects. Headache diagnosis has changed in eighteen (20.69%) subjects at least once during the follow-up period. There was transformation of headache type in 4 of 50 with migraine (8%), 10 of 24 with tension-type headache (TTH) (41.7%), and 4 of 13 with other headaches (30.8%). In conclusion, transition of headache types from one type to another (more than once in some adolescents) and variability of diagnosis throughout the years strongly support the continuum theory of headaches.
doi:10.1007/s10194-010-0228-x
PMCID: PMC3476353  PMID: 20526648
Adolescent; Headache; Migraine; Tension-type headache; Course; Transformation

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