Diagnosis and Management of Headache in Older Adults

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Headache is a common, disabling neurologic problem in all age groups, including older adults. In older adults, headache is most likely a primary disorder, such as tension-type headache or migraine; however, there is a higher risk of secondary causes, such as giant cell arteritis or intracranial lesions, than in younger adults. Thus, based on the headache history, clinical examination, and presence of headache red flags, a focused diagnostic evaluation is recommended, ranging from blood tests to neuroimaging, depending on the headache characteristics. Regardless of the primary or secondary headache disorder diagnosis, treatment options may be limited in older patients and may need to be tailored to the presence of comorbid medical conditions. The purpose of this review is to provide an update on the management of headache in older adults, from diagnosis to treatment.




Starling, A. J. (2018, February 1). Diagnosis and Management of Headache in Older Adults. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Elsevier Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mayocp.2017.12.002

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