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Neurology > Headache > Flashcards

Flashcards in Headache Deck (20):
1

Red Flag Symptoms of a Headache

First or worst
Abrupt onset
Fundamental pattern change
Headache pattern change when (<5 yo,>50 yo)
Cancer, HIV, pregnancy
Abnl. physical exam
Neuro symptoms > one hour
Headache onset with Seizure/syncope; Exertion, sex, valsalva

2

Comfort Signs/Symptoms of a Headache

Stable pattern
Long-standing history
Family history of similar headaches
Normal physical exam

Triggered by
Hormonal cycle
Specific foods
Sensory input(Lights/odors)
Weather changes

3

Epidemiology

What % have migraine with significant intracranial pathology?
What % of headaches in PCPs are migraine?
What % of PCP patients have migraine?
How many women have migraines?
How many households have migraines?
What % of migraines have been not diagnosed?

0.18% have migraine with significant intracranial pathology
75% of headache in PCP – Migraine
33% of patients in PCP waiting rooms have Migraine
1 in 5 women has migraines
1 in 4 households has a migraine sufferer
50% have not been diagnosed

4

What are the characteristics of a primary headache?
 What are the types?

No identifiable underlying pathology
No diagnostic tests
Defined by clinical symptomatology (Dx based on ruling out pathology)

Types: Migraine, Cluster, Tension-type

5

What are possible underlying etiologies of secondary headaches?

Traumatic
Vascular
Infectious
Metabolic
Oncologic
Inflammatory

6

Which anatomical structures are sensitive to pain?

Meningeal arteries
Proximal portions of the cerebral arteries
Dura at the base of the brain
Venous sinuses
CN V, VII, IX, X
Cervical Nerves: 1,2,3

7

What are the indications of neuroimaging in headache?

What is the difference between CT and MRI?

Recurrent migraine: Neither CT nor MRI warranted EXCEPT
Recent change in pattern
New onset seizures
Focal neurologic signs or symptoms

Nonmigraine: Unclear CT or MRI benefit

CT versus MRI
Some secondary headache causes may not be evident on CT

8

What non-CT/MRI diagnostics can also be used for a headache?

CBC, CMP, Thyroid, Sedimentation Rate/CRP, Cervical Spine X-Ray, Carotid/Transcranial Doppler

9

What is the diagnostic criteria in cluster headache?

Minimum of 5 attacks
Frequency of attacks 1 every other day to 8 per day

Description of headache (all of the below)
Severe
Unilateral orbital, supraorbital, and/or temporal location
Lasts 15 to 180 minutes (untreated)

Associated symptoms (one of the following)
Conjunctival infection
Lacrimation Rhinorrhea
Nasal congestion
Forehead and facial sweating
Miosis
Ptosis
Eyelid edema

10

What is Horner's Syndrome?

Unilateral pain around one eye, drooping of the lid, tearing and congestion

11

What is the diagnostic criteria for migraine without aura?

Headache attack lasts 4 to 72 hours

Description of headache (two of the following)
Unilateral location
Pulsating quality
Moderate or severe intensity – Inhibits prohibits daily activities
Aggravation by walking up stairs or similar routine physical activity

Associated symptoms (one of the following)
Nausea
Vomiting
Photophobia and phonophobia

Best Predictors
Nausea
Disability
Photophobia

12

What is the diagnostic criteria for a tension-type headache?

Headache occurring on ~15 days per month on average for > 3 months
Last hours or may be continuous

Description (Two of the Following)
Pressing/tightening
Mild or moderate intensity – Inhibit, does not prohibit activities
Bilateral location
No aggravation by walking up stairs or similar routine physical activity

Associated Symptoms  (No more than one of)
Photophobia
Phonophobia
Mild nausea (Neither moderate or severe nausea nor vomiting)

13

What are the defining traits of tension-type headaches?

Stress as associated event
Location
Tension headache as premonitory symptom
Neck pain

14

What is associated with sinus headache?

What are the characteristics?

Associated with nasal stuffiness and pressure before treatment

Characteristics
Location
Autonomic Symptoms
Weather as Trigger

15

What is the incidence of chronic daily headahce?

3/100 person-years

16

What are the risk factors for chronic daily headache (non readily modifiable vs readily modifiable)?

Not readily modifiable
Migraine
Sex female
Low education
Low socioeconomic status
Head injury

Readily modifiable
Attack frequency
Obesity
Medication overuse
Stressful life events

Snoring (sleep apnea, sleep disturbance)

17

What is the pathway of migraine pathophysiology?

A image thumb
18

What causes cortical neuronal hyperexcitability? 

Enhanced excitatory NT release:
Elevated plasma glutamate
Identified genetic mutations in familial hemiplegic migraine (FHM)

Reduced intracortical inhibition
Low brain Mg2+
Altered brain energy metabolism

19

What is cortical spreading depression?
What is its velocity?
What does it underly?
Where does it occur?

Wave of intense cortical neuron activity: rCBF increased
Followed neuronal suppression: rCBF decreased, coincides with headache onset

Velocity 2-3 mm/min

Underlies visual aura

Occurs in clinically silent areas of the cortex – Migraine without aura

20

What are the mechanisms of brainstem dysfunction that cause migraine/headache?

Dysfunction in areas involved in central control of nociception – PAG
Role of brainstem as a generator to induce migraine
Activation and sensitization of TNC neurons – Decreased descending inhibition during migraine attack