About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Headaches in Lupus Patients Not Linked to Disease Activity

by Bidita Debnath on October 29, 2013 at 11:35 PM
Font : A-A+

 Headaches in Lupus Patients Not Linked to Disease Activity

New research published in Arthritis & Rheumatism, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) reveals that headache is common among patients with system lupus erythematosus.

The study found that 18% of lupus patients experienced headache at the onset of their disease with that number increasing to 58% after 10 years. While headaches were linked to a lower health-related quality of life, these episodes resolved over time independent of treatment specific to lupus and were not associated with disease activity or specific lupus autoantibodies.

Advertisement

Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease where the immune system is overactive, attacking healthy joints and organs of the body including the nervous system. Studies suggest that up to 38% of neurological and psychiatric events in lupus patients are a result of the disease. However, the association between headache disorders and lupus is debatable, with prior research reporting prevalence rates that range from 24% to 72%.

Lead author, Dr. John Hanly from Dalhousie University and the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada explains, "There is conflicting evidence that links headache, including migraine, and lupus disease activity. Much of the discrepancy in previous studies may be due the lack of uniform definition of headache, which is a common occurrence in the general population, especially among women."
Advertisement

The present study received core funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and was performed by the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics (SLICC), a research network of 30 international medical centers. Dr. Hanly and colleagues recruited 1732 lupus patients between October 1999 and September 2011. Study subjects were assessed annually for headache and other neuropsychiatric events. The mean age of participants was roughly 35 years, with 89% of participants being female and 48% were Caucasian.

Findings indicate that at the commencement of the study nearly 18% of participants had headache—61% with migraine, 37% tension, 7% intractable non-specific, 3% cluster and 1% intracranial hypertension. After 10 years researchers found that the proportion of patients who ever reported a headache increased to 58% , with only 2% of subjects reporting a "lupus headache" that is described by the Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index 2000 (SLEDAI) as a "severe, persistent headache: which may be migrainous, but unresponsive to narcotic analgesia."

Researchers found no association between headache and specific lupus autoantibodies or lupus medications such as steroids, antimalarials, and immunosuppressives. "While lupus patients with headaches reported lower quality of life, the majority of cases resolved on their own without lupus-specific therapies," concludes Dr. Hanly.

In a related editorial, Dr. Michael Lockshin, with Weill Cornell Medical College and Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, agrees, "Hanly et al. strongly suggest that lupus headache is not a sign of disease activity, but may be linked to other neurological manifestations. The current headache SLEDAI criterion no longer seems to be useful and should be discarded as a method for evaluating lupus flares."

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Health Benefits of Giloy
Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2021 - It's time to RISE
First-Ever Successful Pig-To-Human Kidney Transplantation
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Migraine Aplastic Anemia Headache Symptom Evaluation Altitude Sickness Tension Headache Hangover Remedies: Helpful Tips to Relieve Nasty Headache Brain Freeze Drug Induced Headache 

Recommended Reading
Vitamin D Supplements may Benefit Lupus Patients: Study
According to a recent study, vitamin D supplementation could be considered as an immunomodulatory .....
Life Challenges Prevent Lupus Patients from Keeping Doctors' Appointments
Due to daily obstacles, many lupus patients with low socioeconomic status are unable to attend the ....
Progression of Atherosclerosis in Pediatric Lupus Patients Not Halted by Statins
New research has revealed that atorvastatin therapy is ineffective in reducing progress of ......
Increased Atherosclerosis Risk in Lupus Patients
Researchers have uncovered the link to increased risk of atherosclerosis in patients with systemic ....
Altitude Sickness
Travellers and adventure seekers who climb or fly to high altitudes often experience severe headache...
Aplastic Anemia
Aplastic anemia (AA) is a term that refers to a condition where the body fails to produce enough blo...
Brain Freeze
Ice cream headache or brain freeze is a temporary pain due to eating or drinking a cold substance or...
Drug Induced Headache
Medication-induced headache (MIH) or a medication-overuse headache (MOH) is a condition where a pati...
Hangover Remedies: Helpful Tips to Relieve Nasty Headache
Holiday times are cool - night outs, parties, friends and - er - carousing! Then, comes that nasty h...
Headache Symptom Evaluation
A headache could vary in features according to the cause....
Migraine
Migraine is a chronic disorder characterized by headache, nausea, vomiting or sensitivity to light a...
Tension Headache
Tension headache or Stress Headache is the most common type of headache that occurs at any age, and ...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use