People suffering cluster headaches experience the same kind of pain condition as seen in migraine victims, researchers said.
Dr. Michael Marmura, assistant professor of Neurology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, revealed that about half of a group of patients with cluster headaches was found to experience cutaneous allodynia during a study.
Cutaneous allodynia is a condition that causes patients to have pain as a response to normally inconspicuous sensations.
The study included 41 patients with either chronic or episodic cluster headaches.
The researchers tested for allodynia by brushing a gauze pad over the forehead, neck and forearms.
The patients then reported whether the gauze was painful or unpleasant, or not.
According to the researchers, 20 of the patients experienced allodynia, with the most common site of pain being the forehead.
The team said that there were no significant differences between patients who experienced allodynia and those who did not.
The majority of patients were using preventive medications, which is a limitation of the study.
Dr. Marmura claims that his team's study is the largest to date to show that allodynia, which has typically been described in migraines, occurs in cluster headache.
"It was surprising to find that allodynia was so common in patients with cluster headaches. This could have important treatment implications, and suggests that there may be overlap in mechanisms for pain between migraines and cluster headaches," he said.
The study has been published in the Journal of Headache and Pain.