Migraine and Epilepsy—Shared Mechanisms within the Family of Episodic Disorders

Michael A. Rogawski

in Jasper's Basic Mechanisms of the Epilepsies

Fourth edition

Published on behalf of ©Jeffrey L. Noebels, Massimo Avoli, Michael A. Rogawski, Richard W. Olsen, and Antonio V. Delgado-Escueta

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199746545
Published online April 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199322817 | DOI:

Series: Contemporary Neurology Series

Migraine and Epilepsy—Shared Mechanisms within the Family of Episodic Disorders

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In 1906, the British neurologist Sir William R. Gowers delivered a clinical lecture at the National Hospital for the Paralysed and Epileptic, Queen Square, London, in which he pointed out the resemblance between migraine and epilepsy.1 He argued that migraine is a borderland disease to epilepsy: “near it but not of it.” Gowers recognized that migraine and epilepsy often occur together in the same patient and that the two conditions are similar in their “character and nature.” In recent years, the association between migraine and epilepsy as comorbid conditions has been confirmed. Moreover, migraine and epilepsy are now recognized to be key members of a large family of episodic disorders that also includes periodic paralyses, cardiac arrhythmias, and episodic movement disorders. Studies of the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the generation of migraine aura and focal seizures indicate remarkable similarities. The identification of genes responsible for both conditions is perhaps the strongest evidence for shared underlying mechanisms.

Chapter.  9618 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neurology

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