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Table of Contents
Vol. 25, No. 4, 2008
Issue release date: April 2008
Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord 2008;25:380–384
(DOI:10.1159/000121986)

Increased Prevalence of Significant Recurrent Headache in Preclinical Familial Alzheimer’s Disease Mutation Carriers

Ringman J.M. · Romano J.D. · Medina L.D. · Rodriguez-Agudelo Y. · Schaffer B. · Varpetian A. · Ortiz F. · Fitten L.J. · Cummings J.L. · Baloh R.W.
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Abstract

Background/Aims: A previous study found a high prevalence of headaches in persons with familial Alzheimer’s disease (FAD) due to a PSEN1 mutation. In our study we compared the prevalence of headaches between nondemented FAD mutation carriers (MCs) and non-mutation-carrying controls (NCs). Methods: A headache questionnaire that assessed the prevalence of significant headaches and diagnosis of migraine and aura by ICHD-2 criteria was administered to 27 individuals at risk for FAD. Frequency of significant headaches, migraine, and aura were compared between MCs and NCs by χ2 or Fisher’s exact tests. Results: Twenty-three subjects were at risk for PSEN1 mutations and 4 for an APP substitution. The majority of subjects were female (23/27). MCs were more likely to report significant recurrent headache than NCs (67 vs. 25%, p = 0.031). Forty percent of MCs had headaches that met criteria for migraine whereas 17% of NCs met such criteria. The tendency for a higher prevalence of headaches in MCs held for different PSEN1 and APP mutations but was not significant unless all families were combined. Conclusions: In this population, headache was more common in nondemented FAD MCs than NCs. Possible mechanisms for this include cerebral inflammation, aberrant processing of Notch3, or disrupted intracellular calcium regulation.



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