Migraine is one of the largest chronic illnesses of childhood, one of the most disabling, and one of the most underrecognized diseases of childhood:
- Before puberty, 6% to 7% of boys and girls have headache
- During adolescence into young adulthood, we start seeing more females than males having migraine, but overall prevalence is somewhere around 10%
- Upwards of 1 out of 4 young women in the post high school age range to early 20s have diagnosis of migraine
How to diagnose?
- Kids <6, we involve the parents quite a bit in the history taking
- A family history of migraine is certainly a high suspicion indicator for potentially having migraines as a young child
- Migraine is a genetically based disease: it is known to run in families
- We do a lot of drawings, pain drawings
- We do individualized, child-oriented type of simple questions to get at symptoms
- We might do a few more imaging studies in a young child where we aren’t quite sure of the history as we would in adolescent
- As children develop they obviously are better at self-awareness and describing their symptoms.