Cluster Headache: More than Just Pain

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Cluster Headache: More than Just Pain

Cluster headache (CH) is not only associated with pain but also with preictal and postictal symptoms, findings from a recent study, published in Neurology Journal.

A group of scientists at the University of Copenhagen conducted the prospective observational analysis to define the type, incidence, and duration of symptoms in the preictal, ictal, and postictal phases of cluster headache (CH) attacks. The study involved fifty-seven subjects suffering from the chronic or episodic cluster headache. The subjects were asked to report the clinical features of up to 10 CH attacks/patient in a questionnaire regarding 33 CH and migraine-related symptoms. The questionnaire was distributed into three sections: a preictal phase, ictal phase, and postictal phase. For each phase, patients were asked to document the presence of the given symptom and the estimated duration of the symptom.

A total of 500 CH attack descriptions were received. General symptoms (most frequently concentration difficulties, restlessness, and mood changes) occurred 20 minutes before 46.0% of attacks in the preictal phase. Local painful and autonomic symptoms were observed 10 minutes before 54.6% and 35% of attacks, respectively. Postictally, pain and autonomic symptoms resolved over 20 minutes, leaving patients with fatigue (36.2%), decreased energy (39.0%), and concentration difficulties (27.6%), lasting a median of 60 minutes.




The original title of the article:

Cluster headache beyond the pain phase: A prospective study of 500 attacks


Agneta Snoer et al.

Exploratory, Cluster Headache, Head, Observational, Prospective Study
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