Comorbidity of migraine and epilepsy in a Norwegian community

Authors

  • E. Brodtkorb,

    1. Department of Neuroscience, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway
    2. Department of Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology, St Olav′s University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway
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  • I. J. Bakken,

    1. Department of Epidemiology, SINTEF Health Research, Trondheim, Norway
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  • O. Sjaastad

    1. Department of Neuroscience, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway
    2. Department of Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology, St Olav′s University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway
    3. Vågå Communal Health Centre, Vågåmo, Norway
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Eylert Brodtkorb, Department of Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology, St Olav′s University Hospital, 7006 Trondheim, Norway (tel.: + 47 72575075; fax: + 47 72575774; e-mail: eylert.brodtkorb@ntnu.no).

Abstract

Background and purpose:  Studies on the comorbidity of migraine and epilepsy have shown conflicting results. We wanted to explore the epidemiological association between migraine and seizure disorders in a population-based material where case ascertainment was enhanced by individual specialist assessments.

Methods:  Information concerning migraine and seizure disorders was collected from 1793 participants in an interview-based survey in a circumscribed community. Mixed headache, with features both of migraine without aura and tension-type headache, was excluded from further analyses because of its ambiguous character (n = 137). Thus, data from 1656 participants were included in the study.

Results:  The number of subjects with epilepsy was small, and a statistically significant association between migraine and the diagnosis of epilepsy was not found. There was a tendency to more active epilepsy in subjects with migraine (1.0%, 5/524), particularly for migraine with aura (1.8%, 3/168), compared with subjects without migraine (0.5%, 6/1132). Migraine was present in five of 11 subjects with active epilepsy (45%) and in four of 28 (14%) with epilepsy in remission (P = 0.09).

Conclusions:  An overall association between migraine and seizure disorders could not be demonstrated, but there was a tendency to more migraine in individuals with active epilepsy.

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