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Adults are not the only ones who must manage migraines. Many children get migraines as well, and they might be linked in some way to behavior disorders in children. A recent study, on children and migraine headaches, found that children with migraines have a significantly higher risk of behavior disorders. This finding is in line with results from previous studies showing that children who have migraines have a higher risk of depressive disorders, anxiety, and behaviors such as hyperactivity and attention problems. Behavior problems could be a migraine trigger for children, or they could be a result of migraines.

“It is hard to tease out the link between problems like depression and hyperactivity from migraine because all these conditions are common in children,” says Andrew D. Hershey, MD, PhD, associate director of neurology research and professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Ohio. “Both behavior problems and headaches need to be checked out. The most important thing to realize is that children do get migraines. In fact, migraines are one of the top five childhood disorders, even more common than childhood asthma.”

If you think your child might be experiencing migraines, here are some symptoms to help you identify the condition:

  • A pounding type of headache – younger children may have pain on both sides of their head or across their forehead
  • Pain that limits the child’s activity or is made worse by activity
  • Pain that is moderate to severe
  • A headache that lasts from one to 72 hours
  • A headache that comes with nausea or vomiting
  • A headache that is made worse by sound or light

You should also look out for a headache combined with symptoms such as irritability, changes in sleep or appetite, trouble at school, mood swings, restlessness, withdrawing from friends or family, and a lack of energy.

If your child or someone you know suffers from migraine headaches and would be interested in participating in a clinical research study, please visit:



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