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Behavior issues are a bigger headache for children with migraines
Date:9/17/2012

Los Angeles, (17 September 2012). Kids who get migraine headaches are much more likely than other children to also have behavioral difficulties, including social and attention issues, and anxiety and depression. The more frequent the headaches, the greater the effect, according to research out now in the journal Cephalagia, published by SAGE.

Marco Arruda, director of the Glia Institute in So Paulo, Brazil, together with Marcelo Bigal of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York studied 1,856 Brazilian children aged 5 to 11. The authors say that this is the first large, community based study of its kind to look at how children's behavioural and emotional symptoms correlate with migraine and tension-type headaches (TTH), and to incorporate data on headache frequency.

Children with or suffering from migraine had a much greater overall likelihood of abnormal behavioral scores than controls, especially in somatic, anxiety-depressive, social, attention, and internalizing domains. Children with TTH were affected in the same domains as migraine sufferers, but to a lesser degree.

The study used internationally validated headache questionnaires as well as the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) to assess emotional symptoms. The researchers trained school teachers in how to walk parents through questionnaires step by step.

For children with either migraine (23%) or TTH (29%), more frequent headaches correlated with increasingly abnormal scores on the behavior scale. The types of behavior most often seen were those characterized as internalizing behaviors directed towards the self. While less than a fifth of controls (19% of sample) have issues with internalizing behaviors, over half of migraine sufferers were affected. Externalizing behaviors, such as becoming more aggressive or breaking rules, were no more likely among the children with frequent attacks of headache than among the controls. The researchers suggested th
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Contact: Katie Baker
katie.baker@sagepub.co.uk
020-732-48719
SAGE Publications
Source:Eurekalert

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