Hemicrania continua in a family: A report of two cases

AbstractObjective

To report two cases of hemicrania continua (HC) in a mother and daughter.

Background

HC is a rare primary headache disorder belonging to the family of trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias (TACs). Unlike migraine, familial cases of TACs are rare, and we know relatively little of their inheritance pattern and genetic mechanisms.

Methods

We present a mother and daughter with HC. We compare the similarities and differences between this family and the first report of familial HC and discuss the implications for future studies.

Results

Both the mother and daughter presented with a constant, side-locked headache of moderate intensity, with episodic exacerbations of more severe pain that are associated with ipsilateral cranial autonomic activation. After negative workup, both patients were started on indomethacin and achieved absolute response at different doses, confirming HC.

Conclusions

Our report further corroborates other reports of familial TACs that TACs are primary headaches possibly attributable to genetic factors, albeit detailed mechanisms remain elusive. Nevertheless, whether clinical presentation and treatment responses would be substantially different between sporadic and familial HCs remain unclear.