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Migraine Headache in Children (cont.)

Migraine Headache in Children Follow-up and Prognosis

Doctors sometimes cannot be absolutely certain that a child has migraines, or they may suspect that he or she has a headache condition caused by an underlying neurologic disease. Such children should have appropriate follow-up care, so that they can be observed over time.

In children with an inborn tendency for migraine, minor head trauma may worsen the headaches, typically for a period of days to months. If this occurs, parents should make a follow-up appointment.

A follow-up appointment is also needed if the headaches worsen, if they do not respond to medications, or if drug side effects are intolerable. Several medication trials are often necessary before adequate headache control is achieved.

Prognosis

In one of the few long-term studies of migraine patients, a Scandinavian researcher named Bille observed 73 Swedish children with migraine. He followed these children for 40 years. On average, they started to have migraines at age 6 years. During puberty or young adulthood, 62% of the children were migraine-free for at least 2 years. About 33% started to have regular attacks again after an average of 6 migraine-free years, and a surprising 60% of the original 73 children still had migraines after 30 years. In 30 years, 22% of the children never had a migraine-free year.

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Pediatrics, Headache »

Headache is a common reason for children to seek medical care.

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