Background and Objective: Migraine and systemic autoimmune diseases are 2-3-fold more
common in women and various studies have reported an association between the two pathologies.
Methods: This review takes into account epidemiological studies involving migraine and systemic
lupus erythematosus, antiphospholipid syndrome, Sjogren's syndrome, and other diffuse connective
tissue diseases. This scientific literature analysis consists of the main articles found in Medline with a
search up to April 2017.
Results: Many epidemiological studies were carried out on patients suffering from systemic lupus
erythematosus. Results showed that headache and migraine are more prevalent in systemic lupus
erythematosus patients compared to controls, especially migraine with aura. Patients with Lupus and
migraine show a higher lupus activity and association with Raynaud and/or antiphospholipids in these
populations are contradictory.
There are not enough data to establish an association between antiphospholipid syndrome and migraine.
However, data are more consistent between antiphospholipid carrier condition and migraine.
Systemic sclerosis is a rare disease, for this reason the amount of available data on this disorder are
scanty. However, some studies reported an association between headache, migraine and systemic sclerosis,
especially where gliotic brain lesions and Raynaud are coexisting.
Finally, large propensity cohort population based studies suggested that systemic autoimmune diseases
are more frequent in patients suffering from migraine.
Conclusion: An attempt at explaining the possible link between these disorders and migraine is discussed
at the end of the review. Several autoimmune alterations are shared by most autoimmune diseases
and headache types. Endothelial dysfunction is the only alteration that is common among all