The link between migraines with aura and epilepsy (migralepsy) has been the focus of many scientific studies. Still, migralepsy- epileptic seizures triggered by migraines with aura- are often misunderstood. Do migraines cause epileptic seizures, or is it the other way around? Here are some quick facts about migraines and epilepsy, migralepsy.
Here are some useful statistics and facts regarding migraines and epilepsy:
- Migraines and epilepsy share many common triggers– both are neurological disorders of a chronic nature that are influenced by factors such as bright lights, food ingredients, stress, and lack of sleep.
- Migraines and epilepsy both cause symptoms such as severe headache, loss of muscular coordination, stomach cramps, vomiting, fatigue, speech slurring, and loss of consciousness.
- Patients of migraines and epilepsy share a common comorbidity for chronic depression.
- In one study on epilepsy and migraines, scientists noted a 20% increase of migraines in epileptic patients, versus non-headache sufferers.
- Of epilepsy patients who suffer from migraines, about 16% say that epileptic seizures often occur before or during a migraine with aura.
- The term “migralepsy” was first coined by Dr. Douglas Davidson, but it was alluded to in prior studies focusing on comorbid migraine and epilepsy symptoms.
- Many scientists believe that genetic makeup may predict one’s chances of developing migraines or epilepsy.
- Migraines with aura patients are 10 times more likely to experience epileptic seizures than non-migraineurs- approximately 6% of migraine patients have or will have symptoms of epilepsy.
- Migralepsy is more common in children than adults.
- Because of the strong correlation between migraines and epilepsy, many migraine specialists prescribe anticonvulsants such as Topamax for their migraine headache patients, particularly when migraines with aura are apparent. However, side effects such as memory loss, chronic fatigue, and dizziness can be equally debilitating.
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Like this? Read more:
Migraines and Epilepsy: Is Migralepsy for Real?
Migraine Headaches and Then Some…Migraine Comorbidities
Migraine Symptoms- a Short List
Epilepsy and migraine- PubMed
Migraine-related seizures in an epileptic population- PubMed
Medical Conditions Associated with Migraines- Epilepsy – Stroke – Anxiety – Depression – RealAge
Should “migralepsy” be considered an obsolete concept? A multicenter retrospective clinical/EEG study and review of the literature- PubMed
ORNL finds common genetic cause for epilepsy, migraine
Co-occurrence of major depression or suicide attempt with migraine with aura and risk for unprovoked seizure
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