Study: Family History, Migraines Found Linked to Meniere's Disease
In Otology & Neurotology, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, found patients with bilateral Meniere's Disease (MD) have a higher incidence of migraines and of a family history of MD. MD is based on the presence of vertigo, sensorineural hearing loss, tinnitus and aural fullness.
Their study appeared in the journal Otology & Neurotology.
The authors prospectively evaluated 224 patients with MD, 31 had bilateral disease. They report the average age of onset for their unilateral MD patients was 46.6 years (+/- 12.5 years) and for their patients with bilateral MD, the average age of onset was 39.9 years (+/- 13.8 years), yielding a statistically significant difference in the age at onset for the two groups (unilateral vs. bilateral MD). However, the exact diagnostic criteria for unilateral and bilateral MD are variable and the etiology remains unknown.
Of note, the co-morbidity of MD and migraine is historically reported to range from 22 to 56 percent. However, they authors noted with respect to their patients with unilateral MD, only 10% report a history of migraines, while 41% of their patients with bilateral MD indicated a history of migraine.
With regard to a family history of MD, only 4% of the patients with unilateral, and 28 percent of the patients with bilateral, Meniere's Disease reported a positive family history of MD. The authors report that in typical bilateral MD cases, the second ear may present with MD many years (ranging from 0 to 30 years) after the first ear.