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Acta Neurol Scand. 2005 Apr;111(4):233-7.

Headache and transient focal neurological symptoms during pregnancy, a prospective cohort.

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Department of Neurology and Clinical Neurosphysiology, St Olavs University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway.



The main purpose of the present prospective study was to evaluate the course of migraine and non-migrainous headache during pregnancy and to estimate the occurrence of self-reported transient focal neurological symptoms.


In total 1631 (77%) pregnant women completed the study and were followed-up during pregnancy. The first questionnaire (Q1) was sent together with the appointment letter and delivered at the time of ultrasound screening. The second questionnaire (Q2), to be filled in during pregnancy, was delivered at the time of birth. Q1 and Q2 covered questions about headache, transient neurological symptoms, and other background and demographic data. Subjects reporting transient sensory, motor or visual disturbances were also interviewed by phone in order to achieve a more precise description of the symptoms.


A total of 58% subjects with migraine reported not having migraine or no headache at all during pregnancy. Among individuals with non-migrainous headache 25% reported not having any headaches, while 1.9% of the subjects without headache experienced headache attacks during pregnancy that fulfilled the criteria for migraine. Individuals without headache or with non-migrainous headache reported significantly less sensory, motor and visual disturbances during pregnancy compared with migraine subjects. More than 60% of those with possible aura phenomenon were migraine patients, while symptoms of peripheral or non-neurological origin were more common among headache free or those with non-migrainous headache.


Transient neurological symptoms were less common among individuals without or with non-migrainous headache compared with migraine. This may indicate that there is an increased susceptibility of unknown cause for these symptoms among migraine patients during pregnancy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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