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Headaches in Children

Babineau, Shannon E. MD; Green, Mark W. MD, FAAN

CONTINUUM: Lifelong Learning in Neurology: August 2012 - Volume 18 - Issue 4, Headache - p 853–868
doi: 10.1212/01.CON.0000418647.77773.4e
Review Articles

Purpose of Review: This article provides an overview of the differences in epidemiology, presentation, and treatment of pediatric headache compared to adult headache.

New Findings: New proposals are presented regarding the classification of pediatric migraine and ophthalmoplegic migraine. The distinction between basilar migraine and migraine with aura is reconsidered.

Summary: Pediatric headache is a common but underdiagnosed condition. Primary headache syndromes, in particular migraine, can present differently in children than in adults. Diagnosis can be problematic, especially in young children, because standard criteria used for classification are often incomplete. Treatment focuses on biobehavioral modification and adapted use of standard adult medication management.

Address correspondence to Dr Shannon E. Babineau, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, 5 East 98th Street, 7th Floor, Box 1139, New York, NY 10029,

Relationship Disclosure: Dr Babineau reports no disclosure. Dr Green has served as a speaker for Zogenix, Inc., and has performed malpractice reviews.

Unlabeled Use of Products/Investigational Use Disclosure: All of the medications that Drs Babineau and Green discuss for the treatment of headache in children are unlabeled except for almotriptan, which is approved for people aged 12 years and older, and rizatriptan, which is approved for people aged 6 years and older.

© 2012 American Academy of Neurology
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