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Keywords:

  • Age of onset;
  • cataplexy;
  • migraine;
  • narcolepsy;
  • REM

Previously we have reported an increased prevalence of migraine in narcoleptic patients. Because of the theoretical and clinical implications of this finding we recruited an independent new study sample of 100 patients with proven narcolepsy and conducted a structured 26-item interview based on the international diagnostic criteria for headache disorders, the Kiel Headache Questionnaire. Narcolepsy symptoms were measured by means of the Stanford Centre for Narcolepsy Sleep Inventory. Migraine prevalence was twofold to fourfold increased in the narcoleptic patients and amounted to 44.4% in women and 28.3% in men. The onset of narcolepsy symptoms was 12.3 ± 11.4 years before the onset of migraine symptoms. The results might be regarded as indicative of a common pathophysiological pathway relevant to both of the two disorders.