Why cluster headache is also called "suicide headache"?

Publicado na 2ª edição de 2011

Introduction: The cluster headache (CH) is characterized by attacks of excruciating unilateral headache, affecting mainly the fronto-orbital region associated with autonomic signs like lacrimation and conjunctival injection, eventually leading the patient to suicide. Objective: To report a case in which a patient committed self-harm during the crises of CH. Case report: An 85-year-old man was evaluated at the ambulatory of the Getúlio Vargas Hospital, Pernambuco. The patient was also subjected to a neurological examination and a cerebral computed tomography. The patient presented intense pain, with crises that last around three hours, in the right frontoorbital region with spread to the ipsilateral hemicranium. A relevant fact is that during one of the painful episodes the patient threw boiling water on the side of the pain, causing a second-degree burn on part of the head. Comment: The pain intensity in some cases may lead the patient to self-harm, so it is necessary that there be an early specialized approach with the objective of avoiding severe physical and psychological damages like the one that was described in this report.

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