What is the prevalence of childhood migraine variants (equivalents)?

Updated: Nov 19, 2019
  • Author: Wendy G Mitchell, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen L Nelson, Jr, MD, PhD, FAACPDM, FAAN, FAAP, FANA  more...
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Benign paroxysmal vertigo of childhood, sometimes considered a migraine variant, generally presents in toddlers. Acute confusional migraine generally presents in the elementary school years. Less commonly, children can present either in the preschool years or in early adolescence. First attacks during the postpubertal teenage years are rare, although episodes may continue beyond puberty. Hemiplegic migraine may present in early childhood. Basilar migraine, particularly with syncope, often presents in the early teenage years.

In contrast to female predominance in adults, the overall frequency of migraine headaches in childhood is slightly higher in boys than in girls. Frequency of migraine variants is not known to vary between the sexes.

Epidemiological studies have linked infant colic with later migraine in children, suggesting that infant colic, a disorder in which there is apparently paroxysmal irritability and pain, may be a migraine variant as well. [3] In addition, maternal migraine history is epidemiologically associated with a higher incidence of infant colic, consistent with the assumption that tendency to migraine is inherited. [2]

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