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Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2008;25(4):380-4. doi: 10.1159/000121986. Epub 2008 Mar 29.

Increased prevalence of significant recurrent headache in preclinical familial Alzheimer's disease mutation carriers.

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  • 1Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095-7226, USA. jringman@mednet.ucla.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIMS:

A previous study found a high prevalence of headaches in persons with familial Alzheimer's disease (FAD) due to a PSEN1 mutation. In our study we compared the prevalence of headaches between nondemented FAD mutation carriers (MCs) and non-mutation-carrying controls (NCs).

METHODS:

A headache questionnaire that assessed the prevalence of significant headaches and diagnosis of migraine and aura by ICHD-2 criteria was administered to 27 individuals at risk for FAD. Frequency of significant headaches, migraine, and aura were compared between MCs and NCs by chi(2) or Fisher's exact tests.

RESULTS:

Twenty-three subjects were at risk for PSEN1 mutations and 4 for an APP substitution. The majority of subjects were female (23/27). MCs were more likely to report significant recurrent headache than NCs (67 vs. 25%, p = 0.031). Forty percent of MCs had headaches that met criteria for migraine whereas 17% of NCs met such criteria. The tendency for a higher prevalence of headaches in MCs held for different PSEN1 and APP mutations but was not significant unless all families were combined.

CONCLUSIONS:

In this population, headache was more common in nondemented FAD MCs than NCs. Possible mechanisms for this include cerebral inflammation, aberrant processing of Notch3, or disrupted intracellular calcium regulation.

PMID:
18376127
DOI:
10.1159/000121986
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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