Bell's palsy, a nervous system condition that causes facial paralysis, is more likely to occur in people with migraine headache, reveals a new study published in the December 17, 2014, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Bell's palsy affects between 11 and 40 per 100,000 people each year. Most people with Bell's palsy recover completely. Headaches are the most common disorder of the nervous system and affect about 12 percent of the US population.
"This is a very new association between migraine and Bell's palsy," said study author Shuu-Jiun Wang, MD, with National Yang-Ming University and Taipei Veterans General Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan. "Our study also suggests that these two conditions may share a common underlying link."
"Infection, inflammation or heart and vascular problems could be shared causes for these diseases," Wang said. "If a common link is identified and confirmed, more research may lead to better treatments for both conditions."
The study was supported by the National Science Council of Taiwan, the Taipei Veterans General Hospital, National Yang-Ming University and the Taiwan Ministry of Education.