Neck-tongue syndrome and related (?) conditions

Cephalalgia. 2006 Mar;26(3):233-40. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2982.2006.00926.x.


A search has been made for the neck-tongue syndrome. It started out with a systematic inquiry during the Vågå study of headache epidemiology during the years 1995-97. Two cases were detected relatively early during the study. This led to a scrutiny of such cases also in our hospital headache practice. The origin - and the basis of the study, nevertheless, was the Vågå study. In the Vågå study, where 1838 18-65-year-old parishioners were examined, there were four neck-tongue syndrome cases (N-TS), i.e. a prevalence of approximately 0.22%. N-TS may be more frequent than hitherto surmised. A variant was observed in one case; a young male: instead of numbness, a 'spasm' seemed to occur in the tongue. None of the four had at any time consulted their physician for their complaints. In our regular headache practice, two new cases were detected. In one of them and in one of the Vågå cases, there was a combination with ipsilateral cervicogenic headache (CEH). In N-TS, there may be both ipsilateral headache and upper extremity sensory phenomena, a constellation reminiscent of CEH. The possible pathogenetic relationship between N-TS and CEH is therefore discussed in some detail.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Headache Disorders / epidemiology
  • Headache Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neck / physiopathology*
  • Prevalence
  • Syndrome
  • Tongue / physiopathology*