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Migraine Headache in Children (cont.)

More Headache Types and Associated Diseases and Conditions

  • Acephalic migraine of childhood (migraine sine hemicrania): This condition is characterized by a migraine aura (usually visual) without headache. Females are more likely than males to have this type of migraine.
  • Alice in Wonderland Syndrome: The syndrome is characterized by headache that is preceded by visual hallucinations or delusions, distortions of body image and abnormalities in the experience of time. Such experiences may wax and wane over several days to months, and children generally recover without residual problems. It is most commonly seen in the young school-aged child.
  • Menstrual migraine: Menstrual migraine occurs in close approximation to the onset of menstruation and will commonly last for 2 to 3 days. The cause of such migraine headaches has been postulated to be associated with the reduction of estrogen and progesterone levels that are associated with menses. No aura is appreciated with menstrual migraines. Women who suffer from menstrual migraines may also experience more traditional migraines (either with or without aura) at other times of their menstrual cycle.

Associated diseases and conditions

  • Psychiatric diseases
    • Many migraineurs report anxiety (excessive worrying) or sadness.
    • Whether the headache or the mood or anxiety symptoms appear first is unclear.
  • Asthma, allergies, and seizure disorders
  • Epilepsy
    • Epilepsy and migraine headaches often occur in the same person and may be related.
    • About 70% of individuals with partial complex seizures have migraines, but most people with migraines do not have seizures.

Miscellaneous migraine facts

  • Migraineurs are more prone to motion sickness than people without migraine.
  • Intermittent vertigo is found in 63% of people with classic migraine and in 21% of those with common migraine.
  • A higher degree of cardiovascular reactivity to postural changes (blood circulation responses to standing or sitting) has been shown in those with cyclic vomiting and migraine.
  • Diarrhea is common in migraineurs and is sometimes severe enough to cause excessive fluid loss and dehydration.
  • Migraines are associated with sleep disturbances, and sleepwalking (somnambulism) is found in 20% to 30% of migraineurs.
  • An aversion (dislike) of striped patterns is found in 82% of tested migraineurs.
  • One study found that eating ice cream caused headache in 93% of migraineurs and was typically located at the usual site of migraine pain.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/7/2013

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

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