Rare nocturnal headaches : Current Opinion in Neurology

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Rare nocturnal headaches

Cohen, Anna S; Kaube, Holger

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Current Opinion in Neurology 17(3):p 295-299, June 2004.


Purpose of review 

This review describes rare headaches that can occur at night or during sleep, with a focus on cluster headaches, paroxysmal hemicrania, short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache attacks with conjunctival injection and tearing, hypnic headache and exploding head syndrome.

Recent findings 

It is known that cluster headaches and hypnic headache are associated with rapid eye movement sleep, as illustrated by recent polysomnographic studies. Functional imaging studies have documented hypothalamic activation that is likely to be of relevance to circadian rhythms. These headache syndromes have been shown to respond to melatonin and lithium therapy, both of which have an indirect impact on the sleep-wake cycle.


There is growing evidence that cluster headache and hypnic headache are chronobiological disorders.

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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