Korean Journal of Pediatrics 2007;50(7):672-677.
Published online July 15, 2007.
Epidemiology and clinical characteristics of headache comorbidity with epilepsy in children and adolescents
Young Il Rho
Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Chosun University, Gwangju, Korea
소아청소년 간질 환자에서 동반된 두통의 역학과 임상적 특징
노영일
조선대학교 의과대학 소아과학교실
Correspondence: 
Young Il Rho, Email: ryoung@chosun.ac.kr
Abstract
Purpose
: To assess the prevalence and characteristics of headache comorbidity with epilepsy in children and adolescents in a specialty epilepsy clinic.
Methods
: Two hundred twenty nine consecutive patients attending the Chosun University Hospital Pediatric Epilepsy Clinic (mean age 10.0?.1 years, range 4-17, M:F ratio 1.1:1.0) were interviewed with a standardized headache questionnaire. Headache was classified according to the International Classification of Headache Disorders, 2nd Edition and epilepsy was classified according to the International League Against Epilepsy. Disability was assessed using pediatric migraine disability assessment (PedMIDAS).
Results
: Of the 229 epilepsy patients, 86 (37.6%) had co-morbid headache. Of the headache patients, 64 (74.4%) had migraine (65.6%- migraine without aura, 20.3% - migraine with aura, 14.1% - probable migraine). The mean headache frequency was 7.2?.4 per month, mean duration was 2.2?.0 hours, mean severity was 5.2?.2 out of 10, and mean PedMIDAS score was 13.0?5.4. The proportion of females was not higher in epilepsy with headache patients (48.8%) compared to epilepsy patients alone (48.0%). In the patients with migraine, 48.4% had complex partial seizures, 17.2% had simple partial seizures, and 34.4% had generalized seizures (P=0.368). A postictal association of migraine was reported in 18.8% with 17.2% reporting a preictal headache, and 7.8% reporting an ictal headache.
Conclusion
: The prevalence of headache in pediatric epilepsy is higher than that in general pediatric population, suggesting a co-morbidity of headache in epilepsy patients with migraine being the most frequent headache disorder. Altered cerebral excitability resulting in an increased occurrence of spreading depression may explain the headache comorbidity with epilepsy. Further studies are needed to assess the etiology of this co-morbidity as well as assess the frequency, duration, severity and disability response to antiepileptic drugs.
Key Words: Headaches, Migraine, Epilepsy, Comorbidity


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