| One-Minute Clinician

Migraine in the Pediatric Population

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.