Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

Symposium 04

Migraine and epilepsy

Sadatoshi Tsuji, M.D.1)

1)Department of Medical Technology and Sciences, School of Health Sciences at Fukuoka, International University of Health and Welfare

Migraine and epilepsy are both common episodic disorders that share many clinical features and underlying pathophysiological mechanisms. The comorbidity of these two conditions is well known. However, the temporal association between migraine and epilepsy is a controversial issue, since these two conditions may occur in numerous ways. Four types of association between headache and epileptic seizure are recognized: pre-ictal headache, headache as the expression of an epileptic manifestation, post-ictal headache, and inter-ictal headache. The classification of epilepsy by the International League Against Epilepsy did not refer to the epileptic headache. On the other hand, the International Classification of Headache Disorders, 3rd edition (ICHD-3) defines three entities: migraine aura-triggered seizure which sometimes referred to as migralepsy, hemicrania epileptica, and post-ictal headache. However, ICHD-3 mentions that there is a complex and bidirectional association between migraine and epilepsy. Most of the previous reports of migralepsy corresponded to occipital seizures that mimic migraine with aura. The term migralepsy has recently been criticized. Migraine and epilepsy share several pathophysiological mechanisms which involve neurotransmitters and iron channel dysfunctions. There is the hypothesis of a shared genetic susceptibility to migraine and epilepsy. Strong support of a shared genetic basis comes from familial hemiplegic migraine.
Full Text of this Article in Japanese PDF (247K)

(CLINICA NEUROL, 54: 1003|1005, 2014)
key words: post-ictal headache, migralepsy, International Classification of Headache Disorders, classification of epilepsy, familial hemiplegic migraine

(Received: 21-May-14)