Spotlight on Headache in children: overview and treatment approaches

Primary headaches, particularly those that are recurrent or chronic, in childhood are increasingly being recognized as a significant neurologic health problem. The high incidence and prevalence of headaches in the pediatric population has a significant impact on children and their families. Migraine remains under-recognized, under-diagnosed, and ultimately under- or inappropriately treated in this population; this has potential long-term consequences with regards to disease progression.

In this article, Dr. Nina Schor of the University of Rochester Medical Center and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong has addressed the key issues of: (1) using practical diagnostic criteria for clinical practice, (2) which acute medication should be chosen, and (3) when to use preventive therapy in childhood. This article serves as a quick reference for the diagnosis and management of primary headache disorders in children and adolescents. Effective intervention may prevent progression and lifelong consequences, including the development of comorbidities. Early diagnosis and an integrative treatment approach are essential to minimize the impact on a child’s quality of life.

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