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Infantile colic found related to subsequent development of migraine

One of the most common problems encountered during pediatric practice is that of infantile colic. The condition is seen in 16% to 20% of infants, wherein the baby cries for hours together because of severe colicky pain in the abdomen. Researchers have for the first time been able to establish the fact that infants suffering from colic are at an increased likelihood of developing migraine as they grow up. The research has been published in the Journal of American Medical Association and was carried out by Silvia Romanello, of the APHP-Hospital Robert Debré, Paris, along with his colleagues.

Almost 1.2 % to 3.2% children between the age group of 3 to 7 suffer from childhood migraine. This percentage increases to 4% to 11% between the ages of 7 to 11, and reaches to 8% to 23% between the ages of 11 to 15 years. One can infer from the study that the infantile colic is an early form of migraine.

For their study, the researchers selected 208 children between the ages of 6 and 18 who had been diagnosed as suffering from migraine in the emergency departments of three European tertiary care hospitals between April 2012 and June 2012. The medical history of these children was compared with 471 other children of the same age group who had visited the emergency department of the same hospitals for some minor trauma. The history of another 120 children suffering from tension-type headaches was also compared.

The researchers observed that children with migraine were more likely to have suffered from infantile colic as compared to children without migraine (72.6% compared to 26.5%). When the children suffered from migraine with aura, the association with infantile colic was stronger (69.7% compared to 26.5%). When the migraine was without aura, 69.7% children had history of colic compared to children with history of colic but without migraine . Tension-type headache was not found to be associated with infantile colic.

As the knowledge about the pathophysiology of migraine increases, one can find insights about the cause of infantile colic and their possible treatment. However, the researchers have emphasized the need of further studies in this field.


Editor: Dr. Bimal Rajalingam MBBS DNB (Resp Med)

Friday, April 26, 2013
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