Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Headaches in lupus patients not linked to disease activity

Date:
October 28, 2013
Source:
Wiley
Summary:
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.

Headache is common among patients with system lupus erythematosus according to new research published in Arthritis & Rheumatism, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). 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.

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."

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."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Michael D. Lockshin. Splitting Headache. Arthritis & Rheumatism, October 2013
  2. John G. Hanly et al. Headache in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: Results from a Prospective, International, Inception Cohort Study. Arthritis & Rheumatism, Octrober 2013

Cite This Page:

Wiley. "Headaches in lupus patients not linked to disease activity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131028090406.htm>.
Wiley. (2013, October 28). Headaches in lupus patients not linked to disease activity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131028090406.htm
Wiley. "Headaches in lupus patients not linked to disease activity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131028090406.htm (accessed August 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) After four months in the hospital, the first quintuplets to be born at Baylor University Medical Center head home. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) A U.S. aid worker infected with Ebola while working in West Africa will be treated in a high security ward at Emory University in Atlanta. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins