Diagnosis and Management of Headache in Older Adults

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-262
Number of pages11
JournalMayo Clinic Proceedings
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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