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Migraine with aura is a risk factor for unprovoked seizures in children

Authors

  • Petur Ludvigsson MD,

    1. Department of Pediatrics, Landspitalinn University Hospital, Reykjavik, Iceland
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    • P.L. and D.C.H. contributed equally to this study.

  • Dale Hesdorffer PhD,

    1. G.H. Sergievsky Center, New York, NY
    2. Department of Neurology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY
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    • P.L. and D.C.H. contributed equally to this study.

  • Elias Olafsson MD, PhD,

    1. G.H. Sergievsky Center, New York, NY
    2. Department of Neurology, Landspitalinn University Hospital, Reykjavik, Iceland
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  • Olafur Kjartansson MD,

    1. Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY
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  • W. Allen Hauser MD

    Corresponding author
    1. G.H. Sergievsky Center, New York, NY
    2. Department of Neurology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY
    3. Department of Radiology, Landspitalinn University Hospital, Reykjavik, Iceland
    • GH Sergievsky Center, 630 West 168th Street, P & S Unit 16, New York, NY 10032
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Abstract

Objective

Migraine is associated with epilepsy, but the time order and nature of the relationship are unclear. We conducted a population based case control study to clarify the time order to determine whether migraine is a risk factor for epilepsy.

Methods

Migraine symptoms were evaluated in a population-based case–control study of all incident epilepsy in Icelandic children and in matched controls (next two same sex births in the country).

Results

Migraine was associated with a fourfold increased risk for developing epilepsy, an association explained by migraine with aura (odds ratio, 8.1; 95% confidence interval, 2.7–24.3). Migraine without aura did not increase risk for epilepsy.

Interpretation

Children with migraine with aura have a substantial increased risk to develop subsequent epilepsy. This finding is consistent with the hypothesis that migraine with aura and migraine without aura may be different disorders. Ann Neurol 2006;59:210–213

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