To evaluate the association between migraine, episodic vertigo, and Ménière’s disease in families.
University Neurotology Clinic.
Index patients identified with Ménière’s disease and migraine and their family members.
Structured interview to assess a diagnosis of migraine, episodic vertigo, and Ménière’s disease in 6 families. Genotyping was performed on 3 sets of twins to analyze monozygosity or dizygosity.
Main Outcome Measures
Clinical history of migraine, episodic vertigo, and Ménière’s disease.
Six index patients and 57 family members were interviewed either by a senior neurologist in person over the phone by a trained study coordinator. An additional 6 family members completed questionnaires by mail. All 6 index patients had Ménière’s disease and migraine. Twenty-six (41%) of the 63 relatives met International Classification of Headache Disorders II criteria for migraine headaches. Thirteen (50%) of these 26 experienced migraine with aura. Three others experienced typical aura without headache. Seventeen (27%) of 63 family members experienced recurrent spells of spontaneous episodic vertigo. There was one twin pair in each of 3 families; 2 pairs were monozygotic and one was dizygotic. In each twin pair, one twin had migraine and Ménière’s disease, whereas the other experienced migraine and episodic vertigo without auditory symptoms.
The frequent association of episodic vertigo, migraine, and Ménière’s disease in closely related individuals, including identical twins supports the heritability of a migraine-Ménière’s syndrome, with variable expression of the individual features of hearing loss, episodic vertigo, and migraine headaches.