Abdominal cramps as an indication of later migraines?

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Abdominal Cramps in Infants

Infants who suffer from severe abdominal pain - the so-called "three-month colic" - may have an increased risk of developing migraines in later childhood. This is the conclusion reached by doctors led by pediatrician Silvia Romanello from the Paris University Clinic Robert Debré, who are currently reporting on their work in the "Journal of the American Medical Association" (JAMA 2013, 309: 1607-1612).

About one in five infants suffers from colic Colic is a common problem in the first three months of life, and about one in five infants is affected by abdominal cramps, which are usually accompanied by excessive crying and bloating. According to the researchers' report, "the pathogenesis and age-specific occurrence of colic have not yet been adequately clarified. Normally, these would be interpreted as a pain syndrome that can be multifactorial." Accordingly, very different causes, such as allergies or disorders of the central, are identified Considered nervous system, in many cases doctors also assume that intestinal disorders, i.e. those affecting the intestine, are present, but the affected babies are not yet able to express where the pain is and therefore cry strongly.

Study examines young patients with migraines and tension headaches Compared to colic, migraines are less common in children, but the proportion of those affected increases with age - a reason for the French research team to investigate whether there is a connection between the two symptoms.

For example, the researchers examined 208 children and adolescents between the ages of six and eighteen who had come to the emergency rooms of three clinics between April and June 2012 due to severe headaches and in which the pediatricians without exception diagnosed migraines and 120 other young patients who were affected by tension headaches . In addition, a control group was formed "with 471 children of the same age who visited the emergency departments of the participating clinics in the same investigation period due to minor trauma".

Close relationship between colic and migraine After the parents of the patients were asked whether colic had occurred in infancy, the doctors came to a clear result: while 73 percent of migraine patients had colic in the first months of life, this was true for children with tension headaches in only 27 percent of cases - which roughly corresponded to the proportion of the control group.

According to the doctors, further investigation of the migraine subtypes confirmed the connection between infant colic and migraine without aura as well as between migraine with aura. Accordingly, "the connection between infant colic and migraine can be based on a common pathogenetic mechanism," she said Authors in their article.

Results could have far-reaching consequences for therapy If colic is actually an early form of migraine-like pain, this could have far-reaching consequences for treatment, because then migraine medication could possibly also be used for infant colic. However, since the safety of these drugs has not been adequately tested in infants, there is still a need for clinical trials. (No)

Image: Manuel Bendig / pixelio.de

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