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Migraine with aura related to seizures in children

9 February, 2006

Children whose migraines are accompanied by an aura are at a higher-risk of developing epilepsy, according to new research.

The
study, carried out by researchers in New York and Reykjavik,
investigated 94 children with newly-diagnosed epilepsy to see whether
they had two or more migraine-like headaches. The results were then
compared to the general population.

The results, published in the journal Annals of Neurology,
showed that, overall, children with migraine had four times the risk of
developing epilepsy, however, the increased risk was only in children
whose migraine was accompanied by an aura. Children whose migraines did
not have auras had no increased risk of epilepsy.

Investigator
Dr W Allen Hauser commented on the findings, saying it was consistent
with the previous suggestions that migraine with aura and migraine
without aura may be different disorders:

"Not
only do the two conditions co-exist, but, at least in children,
migraine precedes epilepsy. Migraine with aura may cause epilepsy, a
‘plausible hypothesis' since blood vessel and possibly brain
abnormalities can develop in association with migraine, or "migraine
with aura and epilepsy share a common underlying mechanism. I prefer
the latter."