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Cephalalgia. 2004 Jan;24(1):23-8.

Characteristics of postictal headache in patients with partial epilepsy.

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Tenshi Hospital, Kita-12, Higashi-3. Higashi-ku, Sapporo 065-8611, Japan.


Migraine-like features sometimes characterize the headache that follows epileptic seizure (postictal headache, PIH). We compared patients with different types of epilepsy to investigate the association between migraine-like PIH and seizure type. Subjects comprised 364 patients with partial epilepsy. Epilepsy types were temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE, n = 177), frontal lobe epilepsy (FLE, n = 116), and occipital lobe epilepsy (OLE, n = 71). Patients participated in a structured interview pertaining to PIH as well as interictal headache and family history of migraine. Headaches were classified according to the International Headache Society criteria, which was modified for this study. Forty percent had PIH and 26% of these patients had migraine-like PIH. Migraine-like PIH occurred significantly more often in cases of TLE and OLE than in cases of FLE. In addition, the incidence of interictal migraine headache was significantly higher in patients with migraine-like PIH. These results suggest that migraine-like PIH is related to particular regions of epileptogenic focus and that susceptibility to migraine headache predisposes to migraine-like PIH.

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