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Study finds 83 per cent of people with epilepsy also have headaches

Study finds 83 per cent of people with epilepsy also have headaches

headacheA study has found that headaches cause a ‘burden’ to the quality of life of many people with epilepsy.

The study, conducted by scientists from Vilnius University in Lithuania sought to investigate and classify headaches in adults with epilepsy.

Researchers sampled a group of 280 people who had been diagnosed with epilepsy for around 12 years, of whom 61.4 per cent were women. 

Type of headache

Study participants completed a questionnaire collecting socio-demographic and clinical data, as well as clarifying their type of a headache.  Each participant completed a Quality of life in epilepsy (Qolie-10) questionnaire and a Headache-Attributed Lost Time (HALT) index.  An experienced neurologist also interviewed each study participant.

Researchers found that 83.2 per cent of respondents reported some sort of headache.  They found that 77.9 per cent of participants had inter-ictal headaches, of whom 39 per cent reported tension headache, and 31.7 per cent reported migraine.  Nearly 8 per cent had medication-overuse headache, while 16 per cent reported having persistent headache possibly caused by traumatic head injury.

The HALT grading showed the impact of headache experienced, where grade 1 is low impact, and grade 4 is severe.  Researchers found that half of people with epilepsy studied have 3rd or 4th grade of HALT index headache severity.

Epilepsy drugs and headaches

Medical director at Epilepsy Society, Professor Ley Sander, commented: ‘The link between epilepsy and migraine is well known but not fully understood. As clinicians we should be sensitive to the potential prevalence of both in a person and treat them accordingly.

‘Some of the most commonly prescribed epilepsy medications can result in headaches as a side effect for some people. Anyone experiencing this should tell their doctor so that an assessment can be made if it there is a link with the medication and, if necessary, a change of dose or a change of medication can be considered.’

Researchers also found that, while headache prevalence was generally similar among people with epilepsy and the general population, migraine was more common in males with epilepsy, and medication-overuse headache was more common in people with epilepsy than in the general population.

Specific treatment

The study, published in Seizure journal concluded that people with epilepsy experience headaches irrespective of their sex or age. “The burden of headaches is very important in patients with epilepsy, since headaches usually cause a moderate or severe burden to their quality of life and suggest a clear clinical need.”

The study authors recommend that clinicians should recognize headache as a common co-morbidity of epilepsy, that may influence anti-epileptic drug choice, and may need specific treatment.

Source: Epilepsy Society UK

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53 Comments

  1. The worst ever!

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  2. Yes exspecially after i have a siezure

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  3. Yes teerible ones

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  4. YES sad but TRUE

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  5. So true even after the surgery

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  6. Agreed true

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  7. I am one of the 83% and they are bad

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  8. Yes my daughter has horrible migraine

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  9. And I get Very Tired also

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  10. Ugh they suck

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  11. Smh.. Always.. So bad the sun hurts the eyes . always in sunglasses.

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  12. My husbands head ach are so bad some times he thinks they are going to give a seizure or make him go crazy 🙁

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  13. I have headaches daily, anything gives me headaches, it’s the strangest thing. After I have a seizure I get the worst migraine. And as the person above stated I wear sunglasses all the time until the sun and glare are completely gone!

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  14. I too suffer from migraines with seizures it’s ca!lled migralepsy and I’ve had it for years.

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  15. Yes that’s so true I always have headaches after seizures & during summer I feel horrible that’s why my hair is always short I can’t stand long hair because these long headaches 😔😢

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  16. Jackie

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  17. Headaches almost daily and killer migraines weekly… Ughh migraines put me in bed for a day I can’t stand anything when have them… Light sound or even just me turning my head hurts!!!!!

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  18. Nothing has helped mine

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  19. You don’t say 😑 of course we have head aches our brain is on the frits & malfunctioning its gonna hurt.

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  20. Mine are injury induced migraines. I developed both after an ex boyfriend slammed my head into a pole.

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  21. My daughter also after a seizure

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  22. Mary Margaret

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  23. Yup But since when is this news???? I have stress headaches so the headaches I have after a seizure are almost unbearable. Like those that suffer from migraines sleep,quiet and a dark room.

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  24. Yep that’s me, I deal with constant migraines

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  25. Reply
  26. Common sense calling!!!

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  27. I have epilepsy and fibromyalgia so of course I will have headaches daily. 😒

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  28. Brittany Dangerfield

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  29. I know i do!

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  30. Yes I do… Especially after having brain surgery for having partials all the time!!! 🙀😳 don’t have partials anymore and on lower meds thank you God!!! For helping me through this….

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  31. My headache is three days before my seizures. Once I have my seizures my headache goes away.

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  32. Ashley Nicole McDonald did you know that

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  33. Dustin Hayes

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  34. I had a headache after seizure #2. I bumped my head (Not hard) on my mom’s car door before having the seizure

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  35. God Bless Them

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  36. I have epilepsy and migraines. It’s awful

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  37. Duh!

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  38. True my daughter has migraines as well

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  39. I have daily headaches & multiple migraines weekly that I take a 300mg dose of Imitrex for that doesn’t help (when most people take 5-10mg per dose) but everything is fine.

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  40. Jess Wight Thompson

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  41. Yes we do and they suck

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  42. I have up to 4 headaches a week…sometimes the headaches can last a week or 2 themselves 😕

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  43. My baby gets migraines after every seizure. It’s awful

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  44. I do..I have migraines.. Its horrible

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  45. Extremely True! Sad to say that these doctors of mine don’t understand the pain I am dealing with! Headaches are not fun, stay strong everyone!

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  46. The crazy thing is I never get headaches- until after a seizure.. I guess I’m lucky in that aspect..

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  47. Yes they do,I get them real bad all the time

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  48. So true I started with migraines at the age of 8 then at 18 seizures started. Now I get no auras for any of them they just come on.

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  49. Always before a seizure.

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  50. Duh.

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  51. It’s true

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  52. I have the worst ever

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  53. I have headaches alot. But headaches and migraines run in my dad’s family so it’s hereditary. Sometimes they’re so bad that nothing helps get rid of them. I’ve had a migraine so bad that it lasted 3 days.

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