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Vínculos existentes entre cefalea y epilepsia: terminología y conceptos actuales

DOI: 10.1016/j.nrl.2011.10.016
  • Aura
  • Cefalea
  • Crisis Epiléptica
  • Epilepsia
  • Migralepsia
  • Migraña
  • Epilepsy
  • Epileptic Seizures
  • Headache
  • Migraine
  • Migralepsy
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Abstract Introduction and objectives Headaches (including migraines) and epilepsy have a high level of comorbidity and may be confused during diagnosis. Although physicians have known for centuries that these two conditions are somehow linked, their relationship remains poorly understood. Herein we describe the known associations between them, their underlying physiopathologic and genetic mechanisms, and the treatments recommended for them. Method We have reviewed the most relevant publication of headache/migraine and epilepsy by using the PubMed data base. Description An individual can suffer both from headaches (either migraine and/or other type of headache) and epilepsy, either by chance or because of a common underlying pathology. In these cases, the headache usually occurs at a different moment than the seizure (“interictal headache”). However, headaches sometimes occur simultaneously with, or very close in time to, the seizure: one that occurs at the same time as an epileptic seizure is known as an “ictal epileptic headache” or as “hemicrania epileptica”; one that precedes a seizure is known as a “pre-ictal headache”; and one that follows a seizure is known as a “post-ictal headache”. There is a particular type of pre-ictal headache, known as “migralepsy”, which occurs during or just after a migraine aura. Conclusions The terminology and concepts employed to describe possible associations between headaches (mainly migraines) and epilepsy have evolved over time with increasing clinical and physiopathogenic knowledge. Some researchers have suggested eliminating the term migralepsy and using the terms ictal epileptic headache and hemicrania epileptica exclusively and uniformly in all classification systems.

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