Prevalence and clinical characteristics of headache in juvenile myoclonic epilepsy: experience from a tertiary epilepsy center

  • Metin Dedei Daryan
  • Betül Tekin Güveli
  • Sezin Alpaydın Baslo
  • Kasım Mulhan
  • Hüseyin Sarı
  • Zeynep Ezgi Balçık
  • Dilek Ataklı
Original Article


The comorbidity of headache and epilepsy is often seen in neurological practice. The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence, types of, and risk factors for headache in juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME). We assessed a total of 200 patients and 100 healthy controls in our study. Headache was classified in participants using a self-administered questionnaire. Demographical, clinical features and headache characteristics were recorded. Seizure and headache temporal profiles were noted. Headache was present in 111 (56%) patients and 50 (50%) healthy participants. From these patients, 47 (42.3%) JME patients had migraine [30 (27%) migraine without aura (MO), 17 (15.3%) migraine with aura (MA)], 52 (46.8%) had tension type headache (TTH), 4 (3.6%) had both migraine and TTH, and 8 (7.2%) had other non-primary headaches. In the healthy control group, migraine was detected in 16 (32%) subjects, TTH in 33 (66%), both migraine and TTH in 1 (2%) subject. A positive migraine family history and symptom relief with sleep were more frequent in JME patients (p = 0.01). Headache was classified as inter-ictal in 82 (79.6%) patients and peri-ictal in 21 (20.4%) patients. In conclusion, the present study revealed that headache frequency was not significantly different between JME patients and healthy controls (p > 0.05). However, migraine frequency was higher in JME patients than healthy controls. Some migraine and TTH characteristics were different in between groups. We suggest that our results support both genetic relationship and shared underlying hypothetical pathopysiological mechanisms between JME and headache, especially migraine.


Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy Headache Migraine Tension-type headache Epilepsy 


Compliance with ethical standards

The study was approved by the Local Ethic Committee of Bakirkoy Prof. Dr. Mazhar Osman Training and Research Hospital for Psychiatric, Neurologic and Neurosurgical Diseases. (The register number of the ethics committee: 30.12.2014/70787)

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurologyBakirkoy Prof. Dr. Mazhar Osman Training and Research Hospital for Psychiatric, Neurologic and Neurosurgical DiseasesIstanbulTurkey

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