Secondary headaches due to e.g. temporal arteritis or a brain tumour are common among the elderly, although primary headache disorders are also common in this group, albeit less frequently than in younger individuals. A different presentation in the older age groups often makes a diagnosis difficult. Some headache syndromes, such as hypnic headache, are typical for the elderly. Furthermore, age-related physiologic changes, co-morbidities and contra indications require appropriate and targeted treatment in the elderly. Although treatments for the most common primary headaches are available, many limitations hamper their use in this group. For many headaches syndromes randomised controlled treatment trials in elderly are not available. In this article we review the clinical aspects of common primary headaches and medication overuse headache in the elderly and their treatments, with emphasis on age specific problems.
1 Department of Neurology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands
2 Department of Neurology, Medical Center Haaglanden, the Hague, the Netherlands
3 Department of Neurology, Alrijne Hospital, Leiderdorp, the Netherlands
Department of Neurology K5-Q Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands
Tel: +31 71 5262097
Department of Experimental Surgery, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands