An investigation in the possible effect of chronic headache on neuropsychological function in aCL-negative patients with SLE
exists as to whether patients with migraine may suffer cortical damage. We investigate the possible association between impaired cognitive function and chronic headache in lupus patients. Sixty one patients with systemic lupus erythematosus but without the antiphospholipid (Hughes) syndrome were questioned about headaches and formally assessed for cognitive function. They were also subjected to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Twenty one patients denied any significant headaches, 19 reported migrainous headaches and 11 experienced an aura. Eleven patients experienced headaches with features of migraine but did not fulfill the criteria, and seven patients had tension headaches. All patients had stable lupus; there was no difference in the incidence of hypertension, age or previous episodes of neuropsychiatric lupus. Patients with migrainous headaches without aura had marginally shorter duration of disease. There was no difference between the groups with respect to eight different cognitive tests or the ventriculo brain index on MRI. We failed to detect cognitive impairment in lupus patients with chronic headaches including migrainous headaches. © 2009 SAGE Publications.