Multiple sclerosis seen associated with headache

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Patients with multiple sclerosis are more apt to suffer from headaches than the general population, results of a study hint.

Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks and damages the myelin sheath that protects nerve cells. It can cause symptoms ranging from vague tingling to blindness and paralysis.

“Headache is not generally considered a symptom of MS, and studies investigating the relationship between the two conditions have produced conflicting results,” Dr. Mario Zappia, of the University of Catania, and colleagues note in a report published this month.

In a “case-control” study, the researchers screened 101 MS patients and 101 controls for headaches. They found that the frequency of headache was higher in the MS patients than in the control patients.

Among the MS patients, 58 (about 57 percent) fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for headache. Most of these patients were affected by tension-type headache or migraine.

In contrast, 31 (roughly 38 percent) of the 101 controls fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for headache, mostly migraine and tension-type headache.

In an analysis adjusting for age and sex, the researchers observed a significant association between MS and headache. The likelihood of headache was more than twofold higher in the MS patients than in the control patients.

The increased risk of headache in MS patients “supports the hypothesis of a common pathway between these conditions; as suggested by other studies, the higher frequency of headache in MS subjects could be related to brainstem lesions,” Zappia’s team concludes.

“However, it should be noted that the role of brainstem in migraine pathogenesis is still controversial, and other types of study are needed to confirm this hypothesis.”

SOURCE: Cephalalgia, November 2008.


Related Posts:

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A new study of stroke patients indicates that those with migraine are much more likely to experience a headache prior to the onset of stroke than are similar stroke patients with no history of migraine or serious headaches, Italian researchers report in the current issue of the journal Headache. As senior

Full Post: Headache before stroke more common in migraineurs

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Acupuncture works better than drugs like aspirin to reduce the severity and frequency of chronic headaches, U.S. researchers reported on Monday. A review of studies involving nearly 4,000 patients with migraine, tension headache and other forms of chronic headache showed that that 62 percent of the acupuncture patients reported headache relief compared to

Full Post: Acupuncture beats aspirin for chronic headache

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Research suggests that people who suffer from migraine headaches are at increased risk of also suffering from mood and anxiety disorders. “An expanding body of literature has shown that migraine headaches are associated with higher rates of mental disorders,” Dr. Jitender Sareen, of the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada, and colleagues

Full Post: Migraines and mood disorders may be connected

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Being overweight or obese may increase the likelihood of having severe headaches and migraines, new study findings suggest. An increased prevalence of headache may be associated with being underweight as well. In analyses of 7,601 adult men and women, Dr. Earl S. Ford and colleagues at the U.S. Centers for Disease

Full Post: Obesity may raise headache risk

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People with severe headaches or other forms of chronic pain may have an increased risk of suicide, a study published Tuesday suggests. The study, of nearly 5,700 U.S. adults, found that those who reported chronic pain other than arthritis were four times more likely to have attempted suicide than adults not

Full Post: People in chronic pain show higher suicide risk

Site Navigation

Most Read