“Multiple Therapy” Approach Effective in Children with Migraine

Mother and son using digital tablet

Neurologist Marielle A. Kabbouche, of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Ohio, and colleagues, found that children treated with a “multidisciplinary” approach had less frequent and less severe headaches, and missed fewer school days.

The researchers evaluated children with migraine diagnosed according to the International Headache Society criteria, and a sub-group of patients were re-evaluated 1, 2, and 5 years later. Data were collected regarding headache frequency, severity, average duration, school absences, and overall response to treatment. All of the children were treated with mediation, lifestyle changes, and if necessary, biofeedback.

At one year, of the 96 patients who were re-evaluated, 94% said their headaches had improved compared to their initial visit; headache frequency was reduced from 13 migraine attacks per month before treatment to 5 per month one year into therapy.

At two and five years, 88% and 93%, respectively, said their headaches had improved with regard to frequency, duration, and severity improved, compared to their initial visit. The number of school days missed was also improved, but most significantly in the two- and five-year follow-up.

The researchers say that the patients who did not return for follow-up evaluation were more likely to have less frequent and shorter duration migraines at the initial visit. They stress the importance of regular follow-up for children with severe migraine, and say long-term outcome studies are needed to show the impact of the treatments on later headaches in adulthood.