Pediatric headache

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Purpose of review

Headaches occur frequently in the pediatric population and have a significant impact on both the patient and their family. Migraine, the most common headache disorder for which patients see a physician, still remains underdiagnosed and undertreated. Recent studies have revealed the increasing incidence of migraine and chronic migraine in the pediatric population.

Recent findings

Limitations of the present diagnostic criteria for migraine are presented, and the proposed modifications to these criteria may assist you with early recognition and ultimate treatment. New acute and preventive migraine treatment data demonstrating statistically significant benefit for the primary endpoints will be reviewed in detail. The clinically relevant impact of migraine on the pediatric patient documented by the use of the Pediatric Migraine Disability Assessment and the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory will be discussed.


A comprehensive management approach blending the most current acute, preventive, and biobehavioral treatments will be reviewed. Further research, with novel study designs, in pediatric headaches is needed to help reveal additional pathophysiological mechanisms, improve diagnostic criteria, and advance optimal treatment. Prospective studies are needed to fully evaluate the efficacy of preventive management in this population and to establish whether early intervention might slow this disease progression.

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