Comorbidity of migraine in children presenting with epilepsy to a tertiary care center

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Objectives: Migraine and epilepsy are 2 of the most common neurologic disorders in children. In this cross-sectional study we investigated a population of children with epilepsy to determine if children with a greater seizure burden or certain epilepsy syndromes had a higher risk of migraines. We also examined how often migraine is addressed and treated in a pediatric epilepsy cohort. Methods: Between January 2010 and March 2011 we distributed questionnaires regarding headache symptoms and treatment to consecutive children with epilepsy seen in clinic at Johns Hopkins Hospital (400 children were studied). Records were subsequently reviewed for seizure type, age at onset, and treatment. Results: The prevalence of migraine in our pediatric epilepsy population was 25%, which is greater than reported for children without epilepsy (3%-23%). Migraine was more prevalent in children ≥10 years (p = 0.0009), children with benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BECTS) (p = 0.003), and children with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) (p = 0.008). Migraine onset was more likely to have occurred after epilepsy was diagnosed (p = 0.0002), but was not more prevalent in those with intractable epilepsy. Only 50% of patients with weekly or greater migraines had documented discussions regarding headaches with their neurologist. Conclusion: Migraine was comorbid in one-quarter of children with epilepsy in a tertiary care center. Children who were older or who had BECTS or JME were more likely to have migraines. Migraines were infrequently addressed within the neurology clinic. It is imperative to address comorbid migraine in treating children with epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)468-473
Number of pages6
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 31 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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