Migraines May Be Linked to Childhood Disorder

Study found those with migraines more likely to have oppositional defiant disorder

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MONDAY, Sept. 15, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- There may be a connection between migraines and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), one of the most common childhood behavioral disorders, a Columbus (Ohio) Children's Hospital study contends.

Parental reports of disruptive behavior in children with migraines are common. Children with migraines miss more school and often lose sleep, which can contribute to symptoms often associated with behavioral disorders. This is the first study to make a direct link between migraines and a behavioral disorder, the authors say.

The study was presented Sept. 14 in Rome at the XI Congress of the International Headache Society.

"Our new data suggests a significant increase of ODD in children with migraines," researcher Dr. Ann Pakalnis, associate professor of clinical pediatrics and neurology, says in a news statement.

"Children with ODD have difficulty accepting parental rules or discipline, are often argumentative and, at times, have difficulty relating to siblings or peers. Understanding this relationship between behavioral disorders and migraines will help develop better treatment options and enable health-care providers to better counsel the parents of migraine sufferers," Pakalnis says.

She suggests parents track the frequency of their children's migraines to see if there may be a pattern connecting the migraines to incidents of behavioral problems. If children suffer migraines more than three times a month, they should seek treatment, Pakalnis says.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about child behavior disorders.

SOURCE: Columbus Children's Hospital, news release, Sept. 14, 2003

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