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Is it a migraine?

The Question: How many children experience migraine equivalents?

The Study: Most people are familiar with the symptoms of migraine headaches, yet few are aware that migraines may present with symptoms other than a headache. These symptoms, called migraine equivalents, include benign paroxysmal torticollis (episodes of uncontrollable neck twisting) of infancy, benign paroxysmal vertigo of infancy, abdominal pain, cyclic vomiting, aura without migraine, and confusional migraine.

Brazilian researchers reviewed the records of 674 children diagnosed with migraine headaches, looking for those with migraine equivalents.

The Results: Thirty-eight (5.6%) of the children experienced a symptom other than headache: fifteen with abdominal pain, twelve with vertigo, five confusion, three aura without migraine, two with torticollis, and one with cyclic vomiting. Preventative treatment was started in 23 of the children. Nineteen showed a significant improvement and four were lost to follow-up.

Comment: This study demonstrates that many children suffer from migraine equivalents and that preventative treatments works. What we don't know is how many children experiencing migraine equivalents never receive proper treatment because the correct diagnosis is never made.

Read More: Journal of Child Neurology, 10/14

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Title Annotation:In the Literature
Publication:Pediatrics for Parents
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:3BRAZ
Date:Jan 1, 2014
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