Is There a Link Between Headaches and Neuropathy?

Questions for Prof. Garth Nicolson
Department of Molecular Pathology,
The Institute for Molecular Medicine,
Huntington Beach, California

I have a question about headaches and neuropathy. I have had “small fiber sensory peripheral neuropathy” for the past several years and now I have been getting headaches for the past month – every day – constant headaches. I had a CT and it was just fine. What I would like to know is if the headaches could be at all related to the neuropathy. I have been trying to find things on line; however I cannot find anything about headaches and neuropathy on line. Thank you for your help.

Dr. Nicolson’s reply:

I am not sure of the relationship, but let me tell you of one possible relationship between chronic infections, vasculitis and vascular leak into the central nervous system.

Chronic vascular endothelial cell infections of the type that can occur in the brain (For example, we know that Mycoplasma and Chlamydia can cause this) cause local inflammation but also vascular leak of fluid across the Blood-Brain-Barrier into the brain. This is thought to be one of the causes of headaches; because of the skull, the brain is not equipped to swell above a certain amount as fluid enters from the blood.

Patients with these infections in the brain show abnormal magnetic resonance scans, with spots that may indicate excess fluid in the brain.