Kids can outgrow chronic daily headache

Most children who suffer from chronic daily headache may outgrow the disabling condition, according to a new study.

Nearly 1.5 per cent of middle school children are affected by the condition which includes chronic migraines and headaches caused by tension.

“Our results suggest there is hope for children who experience these headaches and for their parents,” said the study author Shuu-Jiun Wang from Yang-Ming University School of Medicine in Taipei, Taiwan.

“Over time, most of these children get better, eventually having less frequent migraine headaches as young adults.”

For the study, scientists followed 122 children in middle school with chronic daily headache between the ages of 12 and 14 years.

Chronic daily headache was defined as experiencing 15 or more headache days per month, with each headache lasting for two or more hours per day.

The study found that 60 per cent of the children no longer had chronic daily headache after one year and 75 per cent no longer had the symptoms after two years, said a release of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN).

After eight years, only 12 per cent of the 103 children tested still experienced symptoms of chronic daily headache. However, 75 per cent of the children had episodic migraine or probable migraine, while 11 per cent became headache free after eight years.

“Parents and children should be prepared for the possibility that while chronic daily headache may get better over time, headaches in general may never fully go away, but for most children the headaches are much less frequent when they become young adults,” said Wang.

The study was published in the July online issue of Neurology, the journal of the AAN.

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