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Migraines Linked to Increased Risk of Bell's Palsy

The headaches tied to a doubling of odds for the facial paralysis, researchers say

THURSDAY, Dec. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- People who experience migraine headaches may be at heightened risk for Bell's palsy, according to a new study published online Dec. 17 in Neurology.

Researchers followed two groups of 136,704 adults -- one group of migraine sufferers and another group without migraines -- for an average of three years.

During that time, 671 of the people in the migraine group developed Bell's palsy, compared with 365 of the those in the non-migraine group. Even after the researchers accounted for other factors, such as sex, hypertension, and diabetes, the researchers found that people with migraines were twice as likely to develop Bell's palsy than those without migraines.

"This is a very new association between migraine and Bell's palsy," Shuu-Jiun Wang, M.D., of the National Yang-Ming University and Taipei Veterans General Hospital in Taiwan, said in a journal news release.

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