Migraine headache may double the risk of Bell’s palsy, a nervous system condition that causes facial paralysis, according to a new study published online this month in the journal Neurology®. The authors describe their work as the first to suggest that the 2 conditions may share a common underlying link. The study found the elevated risk for Bell’s palsy was present even after researchers accounted for other factors that could contribute to the condition, such as sex, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Bell’s palsy affects between 11 and 40 people per 100,000 each year; most recover completely. Headaches are the most common disorder of the nervous system and affect about 12% of the US population. Some possible shared causes for the 2 diseases could be infection, inflammation, or heart and vascular problems. Identification of a common link could facilitate the development of better treatments for both conditions.
Read more about the study findings here.