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Headache. 2016 Apr;56(4):762-8. doi: 10.1111/head.12754. Epub 2016 Feb 19.

Headache as an Aura of Epilepsy: Video-EEG Monitoring Study.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
2
Department of Neurology, College of Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Headache can be associated with epilepsy as a pre-ictal, ictal, or post-ictal phenomenon; however, studies of patients with headache as an epileptic aura are scarce. We performed the present study to investigate the incidence and characteristics of headache as an epileptic aura, via confirmation of electroencephalography (EEG) changes by video-EEG monitoring.

METHODS:

Data of aura and clinical seizure episodes of 831 consecutive patients who undertook video-EEG monitoring were analyzed retrospectively. For patients who had headache as an aura, information on the detailed features of headache was acquired, including location, nature, duration, and the presence of accompanying symptoms. Video-recorded clinical seizures, EEG findings, and neuroimaging data were used to determine the ictal onset areas in the patients.

RESULTS:

Six out of 831 (0.7%) patients experienced headache as aura (age range, 25-52 years), all of whom had partial seizures. The incidence of pre-ictal headache was 6.3% (25/831), and post-ictal headache was 30.9% (257/831). In patients with headache as aura, five patients described headache as the most frequent aura, and headache was the second most frequent aura in one patient. The characteristics of headache were hemicrania epileptica in two patients, tension-type headache in another two patients, and migraine-like headache in the remaining two patients. No patient met the diagnostic criteria of ictal epileptic headache or migraine aura-triggered seizure.

CONCLUSION:

Our study showed that headache as an aura is uncommon in adult patients with epilepsy, and that headache can present as diverse features, including hemicrania epileptica, tension-type headache, and migraine-like headache. Further studies are necessary to characterize the features of headache as an epileptic aura in adult patients with epilepsy.

KEYWORDS:

aura; epilepsy; headache; hemicrania epileptica; migraine

PMID:
26893212
DOI:
10.1111/head.12754
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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