News in brief: Migraines and exercise; Valproate pregnancy risk; First Australian case of PRES with COVID-19

24 Feb 2021

Do people with migraine get enough exercise?

People with migraine should aim to get two and a half hours of exercise a week, according to US researchers who found an inverse relationship between physical activity levels and migraine. In a study that surveyed 4,647 people diagnosed with migraine, of those with the highest level of exercise, 10% had low headache frequency (0-4 headache days per month) and 28% had high headache frequency (25 or more headache days per month). In comparison, 48% of those who reported low levels of had high headache frequency while 5% had low headache frequency. The study, to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s Virtual Annual Meeting from April 17 to 22, also showed that just 27% of the people reported getting the highest amount of exercise.
“People with migraine should consider incorporating more exercise into their daily life because it may be a safe and low-cost way to manage and minimise some of the other problems that often accompany migraine,” said study investigator Dr Mason Dyess of the University of Washington.

Valproate pregnancy exposure applies to female offspring

Prenatal exposure to the antiepileptic drug (AED) valproic acid is associated with an increased risk of impaired postnatal neurodevelopment in females as much as in males, according to an analysis of the Australian Pregnancy Register of AEDs. The findings contrast with the usual predominance of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in males and suggest that all children with any level of exposure to VPA in utero should be closely monitored for early detection and intervention for neurodevelopmental delays and disorders, said researchers from Melbourne University. Epilepsia.

First reported case of COVID-19 related PRES in Australia

Neurologists are urging clinical suspicion and early brain imaging with MRI brain for patients diagnosed with COVID-19 who may be at risk of posterior reversible leukoencephalopathy syndrome (PRES). Clinicians at Western Health in Melbourne have reported the first case of  PRES and COVID-19 in Australia, which was diagnosed on basis of MRI brain imaging and confirmed clinically by presence of confusion, delirium, headaches, also associated with hypertension and blood pressure variability and stable long-term kidney problems.

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