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Seizure. 2016 Oct;41:120-6. doi: 10.1016/j.seizure.2016.07.018. Epub 2016 Aug 5.

The burden of headache in people with epilepsy.

Author information

1
Vilnius University, Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Center for Neurology, Vilnius, Lithuania. Electronic address: ruta.mameniskiene@santa.lt.
2
Faculty of Medicine, Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania. Electronic address: irute.karmonaite@gmail.com.
3
Faculty of Medicine, Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania. Electronic address: rimantas.zagorskis@gmail.com.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To investigate and classify headaches in adult people with epilepsy, to evaluate the burden of headaches, and to compare findings with a population-based epidemiological study.

METHODS:

Two hundred eighty (61.4% women) people with epilepsy (mean age 37.8±14.5, mean duration of epilepsy 13.2±11.9years) completed a questionnaire collecting socio-demographic and clinical data, questions clarifying their type of a headache, a Qolie-10 questionnaire and a Headache-Attributed Lost Time (HALT) index. An experienced neurologist also interviewed them.

RESULTS:

83.2% of respondents reported some type of headache. From those with inter-ictal headaches (77.9%), 39% reported tension-type headache, 31.7% reported migraine, and 7.8% reported medication-overuse headache and 16% reported possible persistent headache attributed to traumatic head injury. The impact of headache assessed through the HALT grading showed that 40.4% were grade 1, 9.6% grade 2, 14.7% grade 3 and 35.3% grade 4. Although, the prevalences of different headache types were similar to those in our population-based study, migraine seemed to be more common in males with epilepsy than in general population, and medication-overuse headache was more common in people with epilepsy than in the general population.

CONCLUSIONS:

People with epilepsy experience headaches irrespective of their sex or age. The burden of headaches is very important in patients with epilepsy, since headaches usually cause a moderate or severe burden to their quality of life and suggest a clear clinical need. Clinicians should recognize headache as a common comorbidity of epilepsy, as it may influence antiepileptic drug choice, and may need specific treatment.

KEYWORDS:

Epilepsy; HALT index; Headache; Migraine; Qolie-10

PMID:
27543963
DOI:
10.1016/j.seizure.2016.07.018
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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