Unusual headache syndromes in children

Michelle Brenner, Christopher Oakley, Donald W. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Headaches represent one of the most common reasons why children and adolescents seek medical attention and are the primary reason that they are referred to pediatric neurology practices. The most common headache syndromes diagnosed are migraine, tension-type, and chronic daily headache, and the bulk of recent medical literature regarding headache in children has focused on these clinical entities. Children are prone to have unusual headache syndromes, most of which fall under the category of "primary headache," most notably as manifestations of migraine with aura. Included within this group are basilar-type and hemiplegic migraine. The most intriguing subset included in the International Headache Society's classification system is the so-called "periodic syndromes of childhood that are precursors to migraine." These syndromes, quite peculiar to children, present a wide variety of episodic symptoms, including movement disorders, vomiting, ataxia, and vertigo, and may not include headache at all. This article provides an overview of some of the more unusual headache syndromes in children and adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-389
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent pain and headache reports
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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