Current Pain and Headache Reports

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 295–301 | Cite as

Unusual Headaches in the Elderly

  • Cynthia C. Bamford
  • MaryAnn Mays
  • Stewart J. TepperEmail author


Prevalence of headache lowers with age, and headaches of elderly adults tend to be different than those of the younger population. Secondary headaches, such as headaches associated with vascular disease, head trauma, and neoplasm, are more common. Also, certain headache types tend to be geriatric disorders, such as primary cough headache, hypnic headache, typical aura without headache, exploding head syndrome, and giant cell arteritis. This review provides an overview of some of the major and unusual geriatric headaches, both primary and secondary.


Headache Migraine aura Hypnic headache Short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache with conjunctival injection and tearing SUNCT Exploding head syndrome Cough headache Giant cell arteritis Secondary headache Geriatric headache Elderly headache Cardiac cephalgia Primary cough headache 



Dr. C. Bamford: none. Dr. MaryAnn Mays is on the speakers’ bureaus for Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Allergan, and Zogenix. Dr. Stewart Tepper has served as a consultant for Helsinn, MAP Pharmaceuticals, Merck & Co., Nautilus, NuPathe, and Zogenix; has received grants and research support from ATI, GlaxoSmithKline, MAP Pharmaceuticals, Merck & Co., NuPathe, and Zogenix; is on the speakers’ bureaus for Allergan, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck & Co., Nautilus, and Zogenix; and has received travel expense compensation from ATI and MAP Pharmaceuticals.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cynthia C. Bamford
    • 1
  • MaryAnn Mays
    • 1
  • Stewart J. Tepper
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Center for Headache and Pain, Neurological InstituteCleveland ClinicClevelandUSA

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