Dysautonomia and Headache in the Pediatric Population

Rebecca Wig, Christopher Oakley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Dysautonomia and headache are 2 common diagnoses within pediatric neurology; in the case of dysautonomia, a lack of consideration may lead to misdiagnosis. Despite being common conditions, there is a lot to learn about each individually as well as collectively. Many of the symptoms between headache and dysautonomia patients overlap making the diagnosis difficult. Migraine patients often exhibit symptoms of dysautonomia, namely postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS); yet these symptoms are overlooked or lumped in as a part of their migraine diagnosis. The distinction or coexistence between dysautonomia and headache is identified through a thorough history, a full exam, and an open mind. This is crucial for the treatment and outcomes of these patients. Struggles arise when critical treatment differences are overlooked because dysautonomia is not considered. In this review, we will look at the epidemiology of dysautonomia and headache with focus on POTS and migraine. We will then compare the clinical features of both conditions as well as some hypothesized pathophysiology overlaps. We will conclude by summarizing the diagnostic approach and multitiered treatment options for POTS and migraine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1582-1588
Number of pages7
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2019



  • dysautonomia
  • headache
  • migraine
  • pediatric
  • postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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