Current Pain and Headache Reports

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 276–283 | Cite as

Migraine and Epilepsy: A Focus on Overlapping Clinical, Pathophysiological, Molecular, and Therapeutic Aspects

  • Marino Muxfeldt BianchinEmail author
  • Renata Gomes Londero
  • José Eduardo Lima
  • Marcelo Eduardo Bigal


The association of epilepsy and migraine has been long recognized. Migraine and epilepsy are both chronic disorders with episodic attacks. Furthermore, headache may be a premonitory or postdromic symptom of seizures, and migraine headaches may cause seizures per se (migralepsy). Migraine and epilepsy are comorbid, sharing pathophysiological mechanisms and common clinical features. Several recent studies identified common genetic and molecular substrates for migraine and epilepsy, including phenotypic-genotypic correlations with mutations in the CACNA1A, ATP1A2, and SCN1A genes, as well as in syndromes due to mutations in the SLC1A3, POLG, and C10orF2 genes. Herein, we review the relationship between migraine and epilepsy, focusing on clinical aspects and some recent pathophysiological and molecular studies.


Comorbidity Headache Migraine Epilepsy Paroxysmal disorders 



Dr. Marino M. Bianchin is supported by Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico grant #305501/2007-0.


Dr. Marcelo E. Bigal is a full-time employee of Merck & Co., and holds stocks and stock options in the company. No other potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article were reported.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marino Muxfeldt Bianchin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Renata Gomes Londero
    • 2
  • José Eduardo Lima
    • 3
  • Marcelo Eduardo Bigal
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Division of Neurology, Hospital de Clínicas de Porto AlegreUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do SulRio Grande do SulBrazil
  2. 2.Medical Science Postgraduate ProgramUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Medicine, School of MedicineUniversidade Federal de São CarlosSão CarlosBrazil
  4. 4.Global Director of Scientific Affairs: Neurology and Psychiatry, Merck Research LaboratoriesUpper GwyneddUSA
  5. 5.Department of NeurologyAlbert Einstein College of MedicineNew YorkUSA

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