Shared loci for migraine and epilepsy were found on chromosomes 14q12-q23 and 12q24.2-q24.3 in a linkage analysis study of a Finish family with a complex phenotype, in a report from Folkhalsan Institute and other centers in Helsinki and Oulu, Finland; University of California, Los Angeles; and Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge, UK. Of 60 family members, 12 (20%) had idiopathic epileptic seizures, and 8 of the 12 (67%) also had migraine. Seven (12%) had febrile seizures. (The novel migraine locus identified on chromosome 12 has previously been linked to febrile seizures [1]). Ten family members (17%) had sudden somnolence lasting a few minutes to 2 hours and associated with centrotemporal EEG abnormalities. Thirty-three of the 60 family members (55%) had migraine (20 [33%] without and 13[22%] with aura), and 37 (62%) had either migraine or epilepsy. Nine (15%) family members had both migraine and epilepsy. [2]

COMMENT. Migraine and epilepsy share a common genetic etiology. Of patients with migraine, 6% have epilepsy and up to 26% of patients with epilepsy have migraine ([3] and others, cited by authors). Antiepileptic medications are effective in the prophylaxis of migraine. [4].